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Back on the Mountain and in Your Living Room: Here’s What We Saw and Did at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival


By Bailey Pennick

We’re back in the Sundance Fest groove! After two years of groundbreaking digital Festivals, it felt great (and quite cold!) to be back in Utah to kickoff our first hybrid Sundance Film Festival. From live musical performances by film casts and Mariachi bands to thought-provoking discussions about how to keep pushing the film industry forward, we’ll be thinking about this Fest’s magical moments and new friendships for years to come.

Over the last 11 days — in person and online — we watched 111 Feature films, 64 short films, and 4 Indie Episodic projects. We also went deep on how to deal with burnout as an artist, met the freshest faces in film, tackled the rising wave of antisemitism, and more.

Below you’ll find our complete coverage of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Read about premieres that inspired us, events that challenged us, and the films that are going to keep us going all year long.

Day 1

Day 2

With a high of 21 degrees fahrenheit, Park City was crisp for our first full day of film premieres and events. Even beyond seeing the next best thing that independent storytelling has to offer, we were excited to gather in theaters again for warmth! When we weren’t grabbing seats for once-in-a-lifetime premieres, we were getting advice from first-time filmmakers, discussing how filmmakers can push forward social justice issues through their works with the ACLU, and sitting down for The Big Conversation: Complicating Representation.


Day 3

With two days under our belt, we knew we needed some serious sustenance and ran over to the Directors Brunch where Joana Vicente and Kim Yutani spoke to the power of this cohort. Then, to keep on our inspiration high, we stopped by the Women at Sundance celebration to hear Sundance Fest alum Dakota Johnson talk about her experience in the industry, learned how to deal with burnout, and discussed the importance of intentional representation in filmmaking.


Day 4

On our first Sundance Sunday we dove into tough but necessary conversations about combating antisemitism through authentic Jewish storytelling, protecting and progressing reproductive rights in this day and age, and how to best portray intimacy on screen. We also connected with the Asian Society Northern California about multi-generational families and the tragedy that had just occurred in Monterey Park, California. Sometimes coming together is one of the best ways to start the healing process.


Day 5

Day 6

The online portion of the 2023 Festival kicked off today, expanding the power of independent cinema to everyone across the country! We took advantage of this to see some more great films we missed, while also bingeing the excellent Indie Episodics offerings.


Day 7

There was no hump to get over on this Wednesday! We continued our movie marathon with our community on and off the mountain, starting to look toward the awards-winner weekend!


Day 8

Day 9

The final 2023 Festival weekend brings a lot more movie marathon time and the unveiling of the Fest’s award winners! We announced the full group on our socials, but below you can find the full list of the honored films and the kind words the jury said about each of them.


Day 10

Day 11

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