Culture

Sundance Film Festival 2023: 6 Films From Black Filmmakers We Can’t Wait to See

Returning to in-person in January, the Sundance Film Festival 2023 will showcase features on Little Richard, Nikki Giovanni and more.

Black films will take over at the Sundance Film Festival 2023. On Wednesday (December 7), Sundance revealed the full lineup for its event, which return to in-person (while still showing virtually) from January 19-29. The films will then become available to general audiences during the second week on January 24-29. Held at Salt Lake City’s Sundance Resort, the festival will boast a number of prominent features from Black filmmakers.

Here are five that caught our attention.

Little Richard: I Am Everything (Directed By Lisa Cortés)

Photo Credit: David Redfern/Redferns

Directed by Lisa Cortés, the documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will deconstruct the late musician’s origins as a Black, queer man in rock ‘n’ roll.

“There’s that moment when the meteorite that was Little Richard lit up my world,” Cortés said in a statement. “Burning bright with a voice that slayed and a pompadour that pridefully sashayed, he inspired me to color outside the lines, and give voice to all who are silenced for being too bold, too Black or too queer.”

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (Directed by Joe Brewster)

Photo Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The documentary Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project will show the influence of poet, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni. With innovative accounts of Giovanni’s words along with archival footage, Going to Mars will center the poet’s work through historical periods that she’s lived through.

Magazine Dreams (Directed by Elijah Bynum)

Photo Credit: Sundance Film Festival

Acclaimed thespian Jonathan Majors performs in competition drama Magazine Dreams. Directed by Elijah Bynum, the film centers an amateur bodybuilder reaching for a “human connection as his relentless drive for recognition pushes him to the brink.”

All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Directed by Raven Jackson)

A still from All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt by Raven Jackson, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jaclyn Martinez

Directed by Raven Jackson and produced by Barry Jenkins of Moonlight, A24 original All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt is a “decades-spanning exploration of a woman’s life in Mississippi,” with narrative portraits of the worlds that shape us.

A Thousand and One (Directed by A.V. Rockwell)

Starring Teyana Taylor, A Thousand and One is the directorial debut of A.V. Rockwell for Focus Features. Also produced by Lena Waithe, the film follows character Ines, who kidnaps six-year-old Terry from foster care and flees to reclaim their lives in the bustle of New York City.

Girl (Directed by Adura Onashile)

Adura Onashile’s feature debut Girl retells the story of eleven-year-old Ama and her mother, Grace, who create their own imaginative-but-insular worlds while living in Scotland.

Check out the full slate of Black stories at Sundance below.

Magazine Dreams
A Thousand And One
All Dirt Roads Taste Of Salt
Rye Lane
Mami Wata
Girl
The Stroll
Drift
Going To Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Story
Little Richard: I Am Everything
Milisuthando
Kokomo City
To Live and Die and Live
Bravo, Burkina!
Young. Wild. Free
Invisible Beauty
SLAM (From the Collection)
Talk to Me
Landscape with Invisible Hand

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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