PARK CITY, Utah – The 40th annual Sundance Film Festival is set to begin on January 18 in Park City, Utah, and will feature a star-studded panel of jurors. This year’s jurors include celebrities and industry experts such as Lena Waithe from “Master of None,” acclaimed directors Mira Nair and Debra Granik, and astrophysicist Dr. Nia Imara. These seasoned artists, with their prior festival experience, are expected to bring valuable insights and fresh perspectives to the films curated by the festival’s programming team.
The panel of jurors for the various competition categories includes Debra Granik, Adrian Tomine, and Lena Waithe for the U.S. Dramatic Competition; Shane Boris, Nicole Newnham, and Rudy Valdez for the U.S. Documentary Competition; Jennifer Kent, Mira Nair, and Rui Poças for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition; Mandy Chang, Monica Hellström, and Shaunak Sen for the World Cinema Documentary Competition; Christina Oh, Danny Pudi, and Charlotte Regan for the Short Film Program Competition; and Zal Batmanglij for the Next competition section.
In addition to judging the competition films, the jurors will actively participate in various programming events, including talks, panels, and a special 40th edition trivia night. The awards ceremony for feature films, spanning five competition sections, is scheduled for January 26, while the short film jury winners will be announced at a separate event on January 23.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, which recognizes feature films centered around science or technology themes or featuring significant scientist, engineer, or mathematician characters. This year, the prestigious prize was awarded to “Love Me,” directed by Sam and Andy Zuchero. The jury for this prize included Dr. Mandë Holford, Dr. Nia Imara, Matt Johnson, Theresa Park, and Courtney Stephens.
For those attending the festival in person, there is also an opportunity to participate in the 2024 Audience Awards, open to films in the U.S. Competition, World Competition, and Next categories. Festivalgoers can cast their votes for the Festival Favorite, chosen from all eligible in-person feature film screenings.
Eugene Hernandez, the festival director, expressed his excitement in announcing this year’s jury, praising their talent and accomplishments. He emphasized the important role the jury plays in recognizing and promoting the next generation of independent storytellers and their contribution to the Sundance Film Festival’s tradition of discovering visionary emerging artists.
The Sundance Film Festival, known for its celebration of independent cinema, has been a breeding ground for groundbreaking films and filmmakers since its inception. Each year, the festival continues to attract industry professionals and film enthusiasts from around the world, providing a platform for unique and thought-provoking storytelling.
The 40th annual Sundance Film Festival promises to be an exciting event, with an impressive lineup of films, notable jurors, and engaging programming. As film lovers eagerly await the festival’s commencement, all eyes will be on Park City, Utah, where the future of independent cinema will once again take center stage.