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We return from Sundance 2024 with a bounty of upcoming films across multiple genres that made us stand up and take notice.

Sundance

“Sundance Film Festival” by Travis Wise is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Sundance Film Festival is considered one of the most important events in the film industry. It’s a showcase for independent filmmakers, featuring original stories, films, documentaries, panel discussions, workshops, performances, exhibitions, events, and parties. Morbidly Beautiful’s own Carolyn Smith-Hillmer attended this year’s festival and brings listeners a stellar recap of the many remarkable films she was able to catch during the fest’s opening weekend. – Stephanie (Editor-in-Chief)

SHOW NOTES FROM HOST CAROLYN SMITH-HILLMER:

Attending the Sundance Film Festival has always been a dream of mine. In 2024, I cannot believe it came true! Please enjoy this episode where I talk about the amazing films I saw and the wonderful people that I met, without divulging too much information about the films specifically.

Carolyn was able to screen eight films at the festival, most of them world premieres. Tune in as she discusses the following must-see upcoming films.

How to Have Sex made a big splash at its Cannes premiere. It’s a social horror film that marks the dazzling directorial debut of Molly Manning Walker.

Stress Positions is another directorial debut, this time from the very talented Theda Hammel. It’s a wickedly smart and funny film that Variety called a “hilarious pandemic comedy that delivers where so many have failed.”

Veni Vidi Vici screened as part of the fest’s World Cinema dramatic competition. Directed by Daniel Hoesl (who also wrote the film) and Julia Niemann, Carolyn describes it as a “sinfully good” social satire.

Veni Vidi Vici

An entrancing watch, Love Machina screened as part of the fest’s U.S. documentary competition. It’s about futurists Martine (inventor of Sirius XM Radio) and Bina Rothblatt, who created the humanoid AI Bina48 to transfer Bina’s consciousness into a robot, aiming to perpetuate their extraordinary love affair across eternity.

Another World Cinema film, Brief History of a Family is an incredible film that Carolyn hopes will find a wide audience in the United States. A moving tale with almost as much silence as there is dialogue, it marks the debut of the feature film by Chinese writer-director .

It’s What’s Inside, a film we recently featured in our SXSW coverage, is one of the buzziest films out of Sundance and one you should definitely have on your radar. Featured in the fest’s Midnight category, it’s a playful, sexy, and twisted feature that keeps you guessing.

An extraordinary documentary, Girls State follows 500 adolescent girls from all across Missouri as they come together for a week-long immersion in a sophisticated democratic laboratory, where they organize a Supreme Court to consider the most contentious issues of the day. Carolyn explains it “moved me in ways I cannot put into words”.

A New Kind of Wildnerness

Finally, Carolyn closes the fest with a screening of another documentary and foreign film, A New Kind of Wilderness. In the Norwegian wilderness, a family seeks a wild free existence but a tragic turn of events shatters their isolation, compelling them to adapt to the demands of contemporary society. It was only film she sat in on that received a standing ovation.

SOURCES/INFORMATION

How to Have Sex: https://festival.sundance.org/program/film/656a0186842a921956cd365c

Stress Positions: https://festival.sundance.org/program/film/656a0147fac9f4878ec040b0

Veni Vidi Vici: https://festival.sundance.org/program/film/656a0365fac9f41ab9c043ec

Love Machina: https://festival.sundance.org/program/film/656a07cefac9f466a8c0463d

Brief History of a Family: https://festival.sundance.org/program/film/656a019efac9f4f21ec041a5

It’s What’s Inside: https://festival.sundance.org/program/film/656a08a0fac9f4a59ec047da

Girls State: https://festival.sundance.org/program/film/6569fd68fac9f457e2c03987

A New Kind of Wilderness: https://festival.sundance.org/program/film/6569ffe2fac9f4e1f9c03d7d

ABOUT THE SHOW:

The Final Girl on 6th Ave is a weekly show where host, Carolyn Smith-Hillmer, dissects an arthouse/elevated horror film. Each episode includes a detailed play-by-play of the film itself and a subsequent deep dive into the thematic elements and symbolism. Because elevated horror is sometimes viewed within the horror community as pretentious, Carolyn makes sure to use her down-to-earth tone and unique perspective to make these films less intimidating for the casual horror viewer and less ostentatious for the genre lover.

Listen to more episodes on the show’s website here

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