Sundance Film Festival, London 2018: taking place 31 May – 3 June

Sundance Institute and Picturehouse announced today the programme of feature films, short films and panel discussions for the Sundance Film Festival: London 2018, taking place 31 May – 3 June at Picturehouse Central, presented in association with Adobe. General ticket sales open at 9.30am on Monday 30 April, with priority booking for Picturehouse Members opening on 9.30am on Monday 23 April. 

The festival will present twelve feature films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A., selected for London by the Sundance Institute programming team in collaboration with Picturehouse. The festival will open with the UK premiere of Jennifer Fox’s The Tale, starring Laura Dern and Elizabeth Debicki, which paves the way for a weekend of bold female-focused stories. The festival will close four days later with the UK premiere of Leave No Trace, Debra Granik’s highly anticipated follow-up to the Academy Award®-nominated Winter’s Bone.

Amid the film industry’s current period of dramatic change and intense reflection, this year’s Sundance Film Festival: London will provide an exciting opportunity for the US and UK film industries to connect and discuss our past, present and future.  As movements such as Time’s Up and #MeToo continue to highlight inequality in the film industry, we ask #WhatNext.

Half the picture at Sundance film festival

With seven out of the twelve films showcased at this year’s Sundance Film Festival: London directed by women, along with a thrilling array of female leads on screen, the selection champions female voices and highlights some of the broad and excellent women-led work direct from Sundance Utah. Among the special guests and filmmakers attending the weekend is Toni Collette, star of this year’s Time Out gala film, Hereditary, who will participate in a post-screening Q&A. In addition to the opening filmThe Tale, the festival will feature the UK premiere of Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the winner of the US Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at January’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah; Skate Kitchen, an original tale of female skateboarders and the narrative debut of Crystal Moselle (dir.The Wolfpack, winner U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival); and Augustine Frizzel’s debut, comedy Never Goin’ Back. 

Aubrey Plaza stars alongside Emile Hirsch and Jermaine Clement in Jim Hosking’s (The Greasy Strangler) comedy, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn. The festival will also continue its tradition of supporting local British talent with the UK premiere of Idris Elba’s directorial debut, Yardie.

The festival’s documentary features comprise Amy Adrion’s timely work, Half the Picture, which turns a critical eye on the dismal number of female directors working in Hollywood, and Generation Wealth, Lauren Greenfield’s follow-up to the acclaimed Queen of Versailles.

Alongside the inspiring films on offer, the festival will also celebrate the work of diverse industry pioneers with a series of panel discussions, Q&As, and special guest appearances. In keeping with the What Next theme, the year’s special events programme will coalesce around the idea of creating a culture of inclusion for our film industry, whilst providing audiences an invaluable insight into the filmmaking process. Major UK film funders will join Half the Picture director Amy Adrion for “The Big Culture Shift” panel to examine what is next for the film industry and the steps needed to create a fairer and more inclusive film future. “Triple Threat: Three major filmmakers in conversation will see Jennifer Fox (The Tale), Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, Leave No Trace) and Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron PostAppropriate Behaviour) discuss their careers and approach to their craft, while filmmakers Jennifer Fox, Lauren Greenfield (Generation Wealth, Queen of Versailles) and Crystal Moselle (Skate Kitchen, The Wolfpack) will consider the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction filmmaking in “Art of the Real – the intersection between Documentary and Fiction”.

The 2018 festival continues the Sundance tradition of celebrating fresh work from both emerging and established independent filmmakers through two short film programmes, including a branch dedicated to UK shorts.

Following on from last year’s first Surprise Film, the programme will again include an unannounced screening which gives audiences an special chance to catch an audience hit from this year’s festival in Park City  – last year’s choice was Patti Cake$.  Additionally, Sundance Film Festival: London 2018 will continue last year’s inaugural Audience Favourite award – which was presented to the Academy Award®-winning documentary Icarus – giving festivalgoers the opportunity to vote for their favourite features, with the winner announced at the close of the festival.

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute, saidThe work of independent storytellers can challenge and possibly change culture, illuminating our world’s imperfections and possibilities. The program we’re bringing to London this year is full of artfully told stories that provoke thought, drive empathy and allow the audience to connect, in deeply personal ways, to the universal human experience.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films and voices of this year’s Sundance Film Festival: London offer a creative lens to view our complex times. This is connected, relevant, global art that provides a fresh alternative to the noise dominating the cultural mainstream, and an inspiration for its future.

Clare Binns, Joint Managing Director Picturehouse Cinemas, adds, “We are thrilled to host our third Sundance Film Festival: London at Picturehouse Central, celebrating the best independent cinema direct from Sundance Utah. In the current cinematic climate, we are proud to announce a broad and diverse programme which in this 2018 Sundance London takes pride in championing female voices and encouraging an inclusive industry landscape. Join us for an exciting offering of films, talks and special guest appearances as we continue to explore what’s next for our local and international film industry.

 More information will be available at Join the conversation on social media with #sundancelondon and #whatnext.

FEATURE FILM PROGRAMME — American independent narrative and documentary films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A.



An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn (Director: Jim Hosking,

Screenwriters: Jim Hosking, David Wike) – Lulu Danger’s unsatisfying marriage takes a fortunate turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called ‘An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only’.

Principal cast: Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Craig Robinson


UK premiere










Eighth Grade (Director/Screenwriter: Bo Burnham) – Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year — before she begins high school.

Principal cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton


International premiere



Generation Wealth (Director: Lauren Greenfield) – Lauren Greenfield’s postcard from the edge of the American Empire captures a portrait of a materialistic, image-obsessed culture. Simultaneously personal journey and historical essay, the film bears witness to the global boom–bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of late stage capitalism, narcissism and greed.

Principal cast: Florian Homm, Tiffany Masters, Jaqueline Siegel


UK premiere


Half the Picture (Director: Amy Adrion) – At a pivotal moment for gender equality in Hollywood, successful women directors tell the stories of their art, lives and careers. Having endured a long history of systemic discrimination, women filmmakers may be getting the first glimpse of a future that values their voices equally.

Principal cast: Rosanna Arquette, Jamie Babbit, Emily Best


International premiere


Hereditary (Director/Screenwriter: Ari Aster) – After their reclusive grandmother passes away, the Graham family tries to escape the dark fate they’ve inherited.

Principal cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro


European premiere. Presented in association with Time Out.


Leave No Trace (Director: Debra Granik, Screenwriters: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini) – A father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. A small mistake tips them off to authorities sending them on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own.

Principal cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey


UK premiere






The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Director: Desiree Akhavan, Screenwriters: Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele) – 1993: after being caught having sex with the prom queen, a girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center. Based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed and controversial coming-of-age novel.

Principal cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle.


UK premiere


Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic


Never Goin’ Back (Director/Screenwriter: Augustine Frizzell) – Jessie and Angela, high school dropout BFFs, are taking a week off to chill at the beach. Too bad their house got robbed, rent’s due, they’re about to get fired and they’re broke. Now they’ve gotta avoid eviction, stay out of jail and get to the beach, no matter what!!!

Principal cast: Maia Mitchell, Cami Morrone, Kyle Mooney, Joel Allen, Kendal Smith, Matthew Holcomb


International premiere


Skate Kitchen (Director: Crystal Moselle, Screenwriters: Crystal Moselle, Ashlihan Unaldi) – Camille’s life as a lonely suburban teenager changes dramatically when she befriends a group of girl skateboarders. As she journeys deeper into this raw New York City subculture, she begins to understand the true meaning of friendship as well as her inner self.

Principal cast: Rachelle Vinberg, Dede Lovelace, Jaden Smith, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, Kabrina Adams


UK premiere




The Tale (Director/Screenwriter: Jennifer Fox) – An investigation into one woman’s memory as she’s forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive; based on the filmmaker’s own story.

Principal cast: Laura Dern, Isabelle Nélisse, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn, Common


UK premiere



Yardie (Director: Idris Elba, Screenwriters: Brock Norman Brock, Martin Stellman) – Jamaica, 1973. When a young boy witnesses his brother’s assassination, a powerful Don gives him a home. Ten years later he is sent on a mission to London. He reunites with his girlfriend and their daughter, but then the past catches up with them. Based on Victor Headley’s novel.

Principal cast: Aml Ameen, Shantol Jackson, Stephen Graham, Fraser James, Sheldon Shepherd, Everaldo Cleary

UK premiere


SURPRISE FILM!  Following on from last year’s first ever surprise film, the hit rap story Patti Cake$, Sundance Film Festival: London will again feature a surprise showing.  We can’t reveal any details, but it was a favourite among audiences in Utah, and with just one screening this will be among the hottest of the hot tickets. The title will be revealed only when the opening credits roll. Don’t miss out. 

SHORT FILM PROGRAMME – Two wide-ranging collections of new short films from the UK and around the world

2018 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour – A 91-minute theatrical program of seven short films selected from this year’s Festival, widely considered the premier showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers for more than 30 years. Including fiction, documentary and animation from around the world, the 2018 program offers new audiences a taste of what the Festival offers, from laugh-out-loud comedy to contemplative reflections of the world we live in.



Baby Brother (Director/Screenwriter: Kamau Bilal)– The director’s baby brother moves back in with his parents.


The Burden (Director/Screenwriter: Niki Lindroth von Bahr) – A dark musical enacted in a modern shopping center, situated next to a large freeway. The employees of the various commercial venues deal with boredom and existential anxiety by performing cheerful musical turns. The apocalypse is a tempting liberator.


Fauve (Director/Screenwriter: Jérémy Comte) – Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer.

Short Film Special Jury Award


Hair Wolf (Director/Screenwriter: Mariama Diallo) – In a black hair salon in gentrifying Brooklyn, the local residents fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture.


Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction


JEOM (Director/Screenwriter: Kangmin Kim) – A father and a son both have the same big birthmark on their butt. Believing that the two birthmarks are connected, the son scrubs his father’s birthmark to remove it – but he just can’t get rid of it.



Matria (Director/Screenwriter: Álvaro Gago) – Faced with a challenging daily routine, Ramona tries to take refuge in her relationships with her daughter and granddaughter.

Short Film Grand Jury Prize, Presented by YouTube


Maude (Director/Screenwriter: Anna Margaret Hollyman) – Teeny thought it was just another routine babysitting job – until she’s shocked to meet the client. As the day goes on, Teeny decides to become the woman she had no idea she always wanted to be…until she gets caught.

UK Short Film Programme  A showcase of visionary new shorts from the UK. A wild ride through fiction and animation, discovering some of the exciting new filmmaking talent in the country.



Blue Christmas (Director/Screenwriter: Charlotte Wells) – On Christmas Eve, 1968, in a Scottish coastal town, a debt collector goes to work to avoid confronting his wife’s worsening psychosis at home.


Fry-Up (Director/Screenwriter: Charlotte Regan) –An intimate portrayal of what could be a family’s last day together, set against the urban backdrop of North London.









Garfield (Director: Georgi Banks-Davies, Screenwriter: Myra Appannah) – Krishna wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. As she pieces together how she got there, she realizes that the reasons may be bigger than just the night before.








Marfa (Co-Directors/Screenwriters: Greg McLeod, Myles McLeod) – An isolated town in the Texas borderlands. A place out of time. A shrine to minimalist art. Home to a remote festival. A place where unexplained lights tremble in the night sky. And then there’s the giant lemon.




[O] (Directors/Screenwriters: Mario Radev, Chiara Sgatti) – A film that imitates nature in its manner of operation, depicting animated cycles in a world entirely based on sound frequency and vibration.







The Right Choice (Director: Tomisin Adepeju, Screenwriter: Vijay Varman) – With the help of an adviser, a husband and wife must answer three seemingly harmless questions to create their perfect designer baby.




Wren Boys (Director: Harry Lighton, Screenwriters: Harry Lighton, John Fitzpatrick) – On the day after Christmas, a Catholic priest from Cork drives his nephew to prison.


SPECIAL EVENTS – Discussions with renowned guest speakers providing incredible insights into the filmmaking process.

The Big Culture Shift 

Presented in association with Film London

Coinciding with the festival’s #WhatNext theme, this vital event sees key industry players take the stage to examine what must be done to create a new cultural landscape that is more inclusive and representative. Figures from the UK’s major film funders, Film London, BBC Films and Sundancewill speak alongside Amy Adrion, whose film Half The Picture explores the hiring of film and television directors in Hollywood and features Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time), Lena Dunham (Girls), Jill Soloway (Transparent) and Rosanna Arquette.


Panelists: Amy Adrion, director of Half the Picture; Jordan McGarry, Head of Production for Film London; Eva Yates, Commissioning Executive at BBC Films.

Art of the Real – the intersection between Documentary and Fiction

Hosted by The Doc Society


Three leading documentary and narrative filmmakers discuss the relationshipbetween documentary and fiction filmmaking and how these boundaries can be blurred when the limits of traditional filmmaking are transcended. Following a successful career in documentary filmmaking, Jennifer Fox makes her narrative feature debut with The Tale, bringing her unique approach to documentary filmmaking to the autobiographically inspired story of sexual abuse. Lauren Greenfield joins the discussion as a distinguished documentary filmmaker boasting wins at both Sundance Film Festival and River Run Festival in 2012 for her riches-to-rags documentary, Queen of Versailles. This year sees Greenfield’s return to filmmaking with her examination of consumer capitalism: Generation Wealth. Completing the line-up is Crystal Moselle, best known for her U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize-winning feature The Wolfpack at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, who brings true authenticity to her narrative debut, Skate Kitchen.


Panellists: Jennifer Fox, director/screenwriter of The Tale; Lauren Greenfield, director of Generation Wealth; Crystal Moselle, director/co-screenwriter of Skate Kitchen. Hosted by Lisa-Marie Russo of The Doc Society

Triple Threat – Three major filmmakers in conversation


Join three of the festival’s leading filmmakers for an insightful discussion of their careers and filmmaking processes. Jennifer Fox (The Tale) is joined by Debra Granik(Leave No Trace), Oscar-nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for the critically lauded Winter’s Bone (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival), and 2018 Grand Jury prize-winning Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation Of Cameron Post), writer, director and star of Appropriate Behaviour.

A must-see masterclass.

Panellists: Jennifer Foxdirector/screenwriter of The Tale; Debra Granik, director/co-screenwriter of Leave No Trace; Desiree Akhavan, director/co-screenwriter of The Miseducation of Cameron Post

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