Sundance 2023: Women Directors Dominate Competition Slates

As 2022 winds down, it’s time to look onward. Sundance Film Festival has announced its 2023 features lineup. High-profile films set to make their world premiere at the fest include Susanna Fogel’s “Cat Person,” an adaptation of Kristen Roupenian’s viral New Yorker short story about a college student’s relationship with an older man, and Nicole Holofcener’s “You Hurt My Feelings,” a comedy that follows a novelist whose relationship takes a turn when she overhears her husband giving his unfiltered reaction to her latest book. “CODA” actress Emilia Jones stars in the former and “Veep” alumna Julia Louis-Dreyfus toplines the latter.

Women directors account for the majority of helmers in all four of the fest’s main competition slates: U.S. Dramatic, U.S. Documentary, World Cinema Dramatic, and World Cinema Documentary.

The U.S. Dramatic Competition is comprised of 12 features, eight of which, or 67 percent, hail from women filmmakers. Offerings include Raven Jackson’s “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt,” a decades-spanning portrait of a woman in Mississippi.

Ten of 11 titles in the U.S. Documentary Competition, or a whopping 91 percent, are helmed or co-helmed by women. Nancy Schwartzman’s “Victim/Suspect,” an investigation into a pattern of sexual assault survivors being charged with making false reports, is among the features set to screen.

Twelve titles will screen in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, and nine of them, or 75 percent, are directed or co-directed by women, including Noora Niasari’s “Shayda,” the story of an Iranian mother and daughter living in an Australian women’s shelter.

The World Cinema Documentary Competition also features 12 films, seven of which, or 58 percent, are helmed or co-helmed by women. The lineup features “Twice Colonized,” Lin Alluna’s portrait of an Inuit lawyer fighting for her people.

Sundance will take place January 19–29. A selection of films will be available online across the country January 24–29. Head over to the fest’s website to check out all of the features set to screen.

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