Once a year, everyone in Hollywood trades in their fancy sunglasses and Ugg boots for parkas, gloves and, well, Ugg boots, and heads to Park City, Utah, to attend the Sundance Film Festival. The festival, which kicks off this Thursday, has been one the most prominent launching pads for independent cinema over the past two decades. It functions as both a barometer for what the lineup at every arty movie house in America will look like in the coming year, and also one of the most important see-and-be-seen annual industry schmooze fests. Previous winners and competitors include Clerks, American Splendor, El Mariachi, Hustle & Flow, Juno, Napopleon Dynamite, Saw, Little Miss Sunshine, Garden State… the list goes on an on.
Since Sundance is such an essential tool in determining the future of independent films, if you want to be on top of your movie game and know what’s about to be important before almost anybody else, studying this year’s slate of competitors isn’t a bad place to start. 2009’s lineup is full of exciting prospects, including new movies starring Michael Cera, Patton Oswalt, Richard Gere, Mickey Rourke and some people from SNL, movies from the directors of Superbad and Training Day, and a movie about Nazi zombies.
Obviously, there are LOADS more. Film School Rejects is heading to Park City this year, and have compiled a list of the 13 most exciting films at Sundance this year. Go check them out, and get excited about some movies with a bit more depth than the Transformers sequel.