Sundance ’24 | 40th Edition Celebration Screenings & Events

by Tim Gordon

Rediscover classic works of independent cinema as the Sundance Film Festival celebrates its 40th edition and the breadth, diversity, artistic resonance, and cultural impact of four decades of independent storytelling. The 40th Edition Celebration Screenings & Events section brings archival screenings back into focus as part of the Sundance Film Festival for audiences to explore and rediscover the films that have shaped the heritage of both Sundance Institute and independent storytelling. The program is rounded out with special events and conversations with artists across the decades.

Napoleon Dynamite / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Jared Hess, Producers: Sean Covel, Chris Wyatt, Screenwriter: Jerusha Hess) — From rural Preston, Idaho, comes Napoleon Dynamite, a new kind of hero with moon boots and some sweet moves. When his friend Pedro decides to run for class president, Napoleon finds goals outside of being a star milk-tasting judge to help him triumph over adversity. Cast: Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Jon Gries, Efren Ramirez, Haylie Duff, Tina Majorino, Diedrich Bader.

Park City screening on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a conversation with screenwriter Jerusha Hess, actor Jon Heder, and more.

The Babadook / Australia (Director and Screenwriter: Jennifer Kent, Producers: Kristina Ceyton, Kristian Moliere) — A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. Cast: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear, Noah Wiseman.

Park City screening on Thursday, January 25 at 10:30 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Jennifer Kent and more.

Mississippi Masala / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Mira Nair, Producer: Michael Nozik, Screenwriter: Sooni Taraporevala) — In 1972 in Greenwood, Mississippi, Mina, whose Indian family was forced to flee Uganda, meets Demetrius, a carpet cleaner in Indian-owned Patel Motels. Their passionate romance exposes the rifts and commonalities between the Indian and Black communities. Cast: Sarita Choudhury, Charles S. Dutton, Joe Seneca, Roshan Seth, Sharmila Tagore, Denzel Washington.

Park City screening on Wednesday, January 24 at 3:15 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Mira Nair and more.

Go Fish / U.S.A. (Director, Producer, and Screenwriter: Rose Troche, Screenwriter: Guinevere Turner) — Max is a young woman looking for romance. After a failed date, she discovers that some of life’s best surprises come when you don’t judge a book by its cover. Cast: V.S. Brodie, T. Wendy McMillan, Migdalia Melendez, Anastasia Sharp, Guinevere Turner.

Park City screening on Wednesday, January 24 at noon followed by a conversation with director Rose Troche, producer John Pierson, and more.

The Times of Harvey Milk / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Rob Epstein, Producer: Richard Schmiechen) — Documenting Harvey Milk’s rise from a neighborhood activist to a symbol of gay political achievement, followed by his assassination at San Francisco’s City Hall and the subsequent Dan White trial and aftermath.

Park City screening on Thursday, January 25 at 12:15 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Robert Epstein and more.

DIG! XX / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Ondi Timoner, Producer: David Timoner) — Looking at the collision of art and commerce through the eyes of two dueling rock bands — The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre — over the past 27 years. DIG! XX is the 20th anniversary extended edition of the rock documentary DIG!, which adds new narration by The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Joel Gion and features 35+ minutes of never-before-seen footage.

Park City screening on Tuesday, January 23 at 8:30 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Ondi Timoner, producer David Timoner, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Joel Gion.

Pariah / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Dee Rees, Producer: Nekisa Cooper) — When forced to choose between losing her best friend or destroying her family, a Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and endures heartbreak in a desperate search for sexual expression. Cast: Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Kim Wayans, Charles Parnell, Aasha Davis.

Park City screening on Friday, January 26 at 6:45 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Dee Rees.

Three Seasons / Vietnam (Director, Producer, and Screenwriter: Tony Bui, Producers: Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente) — Although the hearts, goals, and desires are different for everyone in a culturally-shifting Ho Chi Minh City, four individuals paint a vivid picture of the past, present, and future of a city eking into a new era. Cast: Don Duong, Zoe Bui, Tran Manh Cuong, Nguyen Huu Duoc, Ngoc Hiep, Harvey Keitel.

Park City screening on Thursday, January 25 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a conversation with director Tony Bui, producers Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente, and more.


Power of Story: Four Decades of Taking Chances
Tuesday, January 23, 3–4:30 p.m.
Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St.

With this conversation, we look back at the legacy of independent storytelling and the Sundance Film Festival over four decades. A group of artists reflect on their work and careers, the empowering nature of risk-taking, and the importance of negotiating creative freedom. We want to talk about the past as we contemplate the future of storytelling and explore how revolutionary narrative experiences can reshape culture through artistic discovery, emerging media, and the reassertion of independence.

Featuring: Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army), Christine Vachon (Past Lives)

The 40th Edition Short Film Show with Mark & Jay Duplass
Tuesday, January 23, 7:30 p.m.
Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St.

An eclectic mixtape of short films that have screened at Sundance over its four-decade history, curated by Sundance programmers and hosted by short film alums Mark and Jay Duplass. We welcome filmmakers back to celebrate their shorts as part of this surprise screening.  

Since the early days of the festival and the Rogues Gallery program of short films, throughout its almost 40 years of history, the Festival has always supported short films, providing a platform for both established and new filmmakers to connect with audiences in live-action, animation, and non-fiction shorts.