At the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, running from January 23 to February 2, Canada’s audiovisual industry will take center stage with five Canadian coproductions (all world premieres), six shorts, three exhibition works, and a web series.

Two coproductions in the Premieres section

Viggo Mortensen’s Falling

  • The famed actor directs his first feature (which he also wrote and co-produced) in this Canada-UK-Denmark coprod.
  • This family relationship drama about an elderly man who goes to L.A. to be with his son (played by Mortensen), his husband and family, is the section’s Closing Night film!

Sean Durkin’s The Nest

  • Starring Jude Law, this 1980s drama is a UK-Canada coproduction that explores the dark side of excess and aspiration through the story of an entrepreneur who moves his family from the US to England.
  • Pssst! This Canadian-born filmmaker won big at Sundance in 2011, taking home a directing award for his feature Martha Marcy May Marlene.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor

  • This Canada-UK coproduction is a sci-fi thriller with a star-studded cast including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Abbott, and Andrea Riseborough.
  • Looking back, this Canadian director’s 2012 debut Antiviral world-premiered at Cannes and won the Best Canadian First Feature Film prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.

World Cinema Documentary Competition

Richard Poplak and Diana Neille’s Influence, produced by Montreal-based EyeSteelFilm.

  • Produced by Montreal-based EyeSteelFilm, this South Africa-Canada coproduction is a look at “weaponized communication”.

Documentary Premieres category

Allison Ellwood’s The Go-Gos

  • Canada’s Corey Russell is among the producers on this US-Ireland-Canada copro, which looks into the success of the Go-Go’s, who made history as the first all-female band to play their instruments, write their songs, and achieve a No. 1 album.

Indie Episodic Showcase

Web series Hey Lady!

  • The series is directed by three Canadian filmmakers: Sarah Polley, Adriana Maggs, and Will Bowles.
  • Starring homegrown actresses Jayne Eastwood and Jackie Richardson, this comedy is about a senior citizen named Lady.

Six Canadian projects in the Shorts Program

  • Alexandre Dostie’s End Up in Jail
  • Christopher Auchter’s Now is the Time
  • Thea Hollatz’s Hot Flash
  • Santiago Menghini’s second short selected at Sundance, Regret
  • Lisa Jackson’s Lichen
  • Charlie Tyrell’s second short selected at Sundance, Broken Orchestra

Three exhibition works in the New Frontier Program

  • Randall Okita’s The Book of Distance, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, this interactive piece explores themes of immigration and family through this Canadian filmmaker’s quest to find his grandfather.
  • Diego Galafassi’s Breathe, executive produced by Montreal-based Phi Studio, this Sweden-Canada-US collaboration uses mixed reality for a new, connected perspective on breathing, and air.
  • Canadian Sandra Rodriguez’s Chomsky vs. Chomsky: First Encounter, produced by Montreal-based EyeSteelFilm, this Canada-Germany collaboration offers a chance to connect with the CHOMSKY_AI.

P.S. For Canada’s Slamdance lineup, stay tuned! In the coming weeks, we’ll tell you about more Canadian flicks heading to this festival, plus all your Sundance updates.