Last week, the Sundance Film Festival unveiled its 2015 initial lineup and midnight sidebar. Today the Festival announced its even more highly anticipated slate of Premieres and Documentary Premieres—16 original films and 13 documentaries that are the most likely to garner awards season buzz a year from now.
Among them are new projects from directors James Ponsoldt, Paul Weitz, Leslye Headland, and Noah Baumbach. Ponsoldt’s The End Of The Tour explores the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and David Foster Wallace, with Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel playing the two writers. (The curious already got a glimpse of Segel as Wallace earlier this year.) Weitz’s Grandma features Lily Tomlin as a misanthropic woman bonding with her 18-year-old granddaughter. Headland casts Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis as former lovers and serial cheaters in the previously reported Sleeping With Other People. And Baumbach reunites with his Frances Ha collaborator Greta Gerwig on Mistress America, a film about two soon-to-be stepsisters causing trouble in New York.
As for some of the higher-profile actors in this year’s lineup, James Franco will star in I Am Michael, a biopic about a gay activist who renounced homosexuality and became a Christian pastor. (Sundance’s director of programming Trevor Groth joked, “We do love James Franco. The fact that he was in about 73 films that were submitted—statistically, he had a pretty good shot.”) Elsewhere, Jennifer Lopez and Viola Davis team up in the revenge thriller Lila & Eve, Ewan McGregor plays both Jesus and the Devil in Last Days In The Desert, and Ryan Reynolds stars as a gambler in Mississippi Grind.
In the documentary category, Oscar nominee Liz Garbus charts the life of recording artist Nina Simone in the recently announced, Netflix-backed What Happened, Miss Simone? Similarly HBO’s Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck, directed by Oscar nominee Brett Morgen, will get a Sundance world premiere ahead of its television debut. In documentaries relevant to current national conversations, Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution examines the controversial political group, and Kirby Dick’s The Hunting Ground explores rape crimes on U.S. college campuses.
Sundance also announced several “Power Of Story” Panels, which will be live streamed on the festival website. Those include an examination of female characters on film and TV with Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Jenji Kohan, Kristen Wigg, and critic Emily Nussbaum. And in his first Sundance appearance, George Lucas sits down with Robert Redford and critic Leonard Maltin for a talk celebrating the craft of filmmaking.
For a full breakdown of this year’s Premieres, visit the Sundance website. The Sundance Festival kicks off January 22 and runs through February 1st.