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Category: Now Playing

Release Rundown: What to Watch in June 2021, from “Zola” to “The Sparks Brothers”

“You wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense,” wrote Aziah “Zola” Wells in 2015, kicking off a lengthy Twitter thread about a road trip gone wrong that left readers riveted. The anticipation mounted when the release of Janicza Bravo’s filmic adaptation—which premiered to rave reviews at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival—was pushed back for more than a full calendar year due to COVID-19 pandemic. But sweet relief is in sight: On June 30, the A24 film starring Taylour Paige and Riley Keough rolls into theaters nationwide.

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Release Rundown: “Together Together” and “In the Earth” Hit Theaters in April

Welcome to Release Rundown, your monthly look at the Sundance-supported titles hitting theaters and streaming platforms. In this revamped column, we’ll let you know where you can find each release, offer up trailers, and also clue you in on some classic Festival titles currently available on streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, Criterion Channel, and beyond. Here’s a look at everything you’ll want to add your your queue in April 2021.

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Sundance-Supported New Releases for February, from “Land” to “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Just days after its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Shaka King’s second feature, Judas and the Black Messiah, has already racked up two Golden Globe nominations (for Daniel Kaluuya’s supporting turn as Fred Hampton and for its original song, “Fight for You”). Luckily for you, if you missed it during our online screenings, you won’t have to wait long to catch the drama, which also features Festival alum LaKeith Stanfield. The project begins streaming on HBO Max next Friday, February 12; it will also have a limited theatrical run.

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15 Sundance-Supported New Releases to Watch in December, from “Minari” to “The Truffle Hunters”

How do you like your holiday-season films? Heartwarming? Romantic? Perhaps complex and a bit disturbing? December’s giant crop of Sundance-supported new releases have all your bases covered, providing fodder for every kind of moviegoer as we wrap up 2020 and look ahead to our next crop of Festival selections.
On the heartwarming tip, keep an eye out for the opening of Lee Isaac Chung’s sweet family drama Minari, which will roll out to select theaters in L.A.

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‘Possessor’ Director Brandon Cronenberg on the Battle Between Civilized Society and Our Interior Ape Selves

Back in January — before we all started stocking up on hand sanitizer, customizing reusable face masks, and becoming intimately acquainted with the many intricacies of Zoom — Brandon Cronenberg arrived in Park City for his first-ever Sundance Film Festival, where he was set to premiere his second-ever feature, Possessor.
Featuring a trio of deeply unsettling performances by Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the film, retitled Possessor Uncut for its limited theatrical U.S.

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Sundance-Supported Releases to Watch in October, for the Horror Fan and Otherwise

If you can use some levity in your Halloween movie nights this year, check out three picks from the 2020 Sundance Film Festival that infuse a bit of comedy into the traditional horror genre. In Justin Simien’s satirical, ’80s-set Bad Hair, a weave takes on a mind of its own as an ambitious young woman tries everything to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television.
For more laughs than scares, watch Josh Ruben’s cabin-fire storytelling romp Scare Me, or catch Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson’s Save Yourselves!, an apocalyptic satire in which a decidedly nonsurvivalist millennial couple face an invasion from an otherworldly force.

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Sundance-Supported Releases to Watch in September, from ‘The Mole Agent’ to ‘Kajillionaire’

September’s slate of Sundance Institute–supported releases features a strong lineup of documentaries that run the gamut from the heartwarming to the harrowing. On the human connection side of the spectrum, Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent follows 83-year-old Sergio, who goes undercover to investigate a nursing home but bungles the spy-gear technology and can’t seem to stay on course with the mission. An all-in-one uplifting, cutely funny but meaningful tearjerker, it’s the film we all need in 2020.

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10 Inspiring Activism Documentaries to Re-energize Your Fight for Change

The Sundance Film Festival has long been a destination for inspiring documentaries that capture the indomitable spirit of those on the frontlines of world-changing movements—from Mark Kitchell’s 1991 student activism doc Berkeley in the Sixties, to 2012’s wealth inequality exposé We’re Not Broke, to 2017’s Whose Streets?, in which a Ferguson protester implores, “We have to raise a generation of activists. If there’s going to be any change, it starts with our children.” These words are proving true today as young people now lead the swelling antiracism movement across the country and the world.

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‘Spree’ Director on the Link between Attention Culture and Violence

Eugene Kotlyarenko’s thriller Spree is now streaming after its premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Equal parts horror and satire, the film plays out almost entirely through the device screens of its main character and villain, rideshare driver and wannabe influencer Kurt (Joe Keery). Desperate for the validation of strangers, Kurt turns his unsuccessful social media account into a livestream of deadly attacks on his passengers, which only gets more twisted as he amasses more followers.

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Streaming in August: ‘The Go-Go’s,’ ‘Spree,’ and More

At the top of the list of Sundance Institute–supported films coming to streaming platforms this month is Alison Ellwood’s doc The Go-Go’s, the heart-and-drama-fueled saga of the eponymous 1980s punk-turned-pop band who paved the way for women in the music industry. Though the film does delve into the more salacious parts of the group’s history, it also shows the human side of the band caught between conflicting images as both “America’s sweethearts” and “drug-crazed demons.”
For an inspiring documentary about the dogged Filipina reporter leading the charge for a free press despite pervasive threats from the authoritarian government, watch Ramona S.

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