Sundance Unveils 2022 Short Film Program, 40th Anniversary Retrospective Collection

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival has unveiled its short film program, curated from an all-time high of 10,374 submissions.

The films — encompassing categories like domestic and international live action as well as animation — will screen throughout the hybrid festival in-person, at satellite venues, and online.

“Short films are such a vital part of the independent storytelling culture that Sundance Institute has consistently put its full support behind. We’re all happy for the opportunity this year’s hybrid in-person and online,” said Kim Yutani, director of programming at Sundance.

In addition to the new crop of shorts, Sundance will also roll out a retrospective titled “From The Collection,” celebrating four decades of its notable past creators. These include works from the likes of Garrett Bradley, Destin Daniel Cretton, Cheryl Dunye, Nash Edgerton, Tamara Jenkins and Taika Waititi.

“The films selected for the ‘From the Collection’ program run the stylistic and subject matter gamut, and many of the filmmakers behind them have deepened their connection to the Institute in the years since these shorts first premiered in Utah. We’re so excited for audiences to rediscover them as part of their Sundance experience next January,” said Sundance senior programmer Mike Plante.

Some stats around this year’s short program: 56% of directors identified as women, 62% (or 21 of 34 directors) identified as people of color, and 18%  identified as LGBTQ+. The 2022 edition of the festival will run from January 20-30. Read the full list of U.S. live action shorts:

“Appendage”: Director and Screenwriter: Anna Zlokovic, Producers: Alex Familian, Anna Zlokovic, Matthew Green. A young fashion designer must make the best of it when her anxiety and self-doubt physically manifest into something horrific. Cast: Rachel Sennott, Eric Roberts.

“Champ” : Director and Screenwriter: Hannah Peterson, Producers: Taylor Shung, Alex Coco. After basketball practice one night, Genevieve reveals a dark secret about their coach to her teammates. Wielding strategy and grit off the court, Genevieve works together with her teammates to find a way to retaliate. Cast: Eva Noblezada, Lulu Davis, Iris Cook, Madison Holden. World Premiere.

“Chaperone”: Director and Screenwriter: Sam Max, Producers: Russell Kahn, Sam Max, Lio Mehiel, Patrick Murray, Katie Schiller. An unnamed figure picks up a young man in his car. As the two drive together, and settle into an austere rental house in the country, the details of their arrangement become guttingly clear. Cast: Zachary Quinto, Russell Kahn. U.S. Premiere.

“Close Ties to Home Country”: Director and Screenwriter: Akanksha Cruczynski, Producer: Felicia Ferrara. Millennial immigrant Akanksha waits for her sister’s visit from India — they haven’t seen each other in nine years! Meanwhile, she’s dogsitting the fancy Frenchie of Instagram influencers India and Harry, who themselves are on a trip to India’s namesake. Cast: Akanksha Cruczynski, Bisou [Timothée], Cassie Kramer, Simon Hedger, Sophia Rafiqi.

“Daddy’s Girl”: Director and Screenwriter: Lena Hudson, Producers: Clea DeCrane, Thomas Matthews, Lena Hudson . A young woman’s charming but overbearing father helps her move out of her wealthy, older boyfriend’s apartment. Cast: Tedra Millan, Peter Friedman. World Premiere.

“F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT [email protected]¢K”: Director: Harris Doran, Screenwriters: Harris Doran, Emmanuel ‘DDm’ Williams, Producers: Doris Casap, Harris Doran, James Burkhalter, Haley Geffen. A queer, Black, aspiring Baltimore rapper must outwit his vengeful day-job boss in order to avoid getting fired after accidentally eating an edible. Cast: Emmanuel ‘DDm’ Williams, Kara Young, Catherine Curtin. World Premiere.

“Hallelujah”: Director and Screenwriter: Victor Gabriel, Producer: Duran Jones. In Compton, California, two brothers stuck in arrested development have to figure out how to handle their annoying, fried-chicken-hating, bookworm nephew, as he attempts to hang himself with a garden hose. Cast: Bruce A. Lemon, Richard Nevels, Stephen Laroy Thomas, Mariah Pharms, Damon Rutledge, Maelina Gibson. World Premiere.

“Huella”: Director and Screenwriter: Gabriela Ortega, Producers: Helena Sardinha, Rafael Thomaseto. When the death of her grandmother unleashes a generational curse, a disenchanted flamenco dancer resigned to a desk job is forced to experience the five stages of grief through a visit from her female ancestors. Cast: Shakira Barrera, Denise Blasor, Carla Valentine.

“IF I GO WILL THEY MISS ME”:Director and Screenwriter: Walter Thompson-Hernández, Producer: Stuart McIntyre. Lil’ Ant is obsessed with Pegasus, the Greek mythological character, since first learning about him at school in Watts, California. He begins to notice imaginary airplane people around his home, and yearns to fly with them. Cast: Anthony Harris Jr. World Premiere.

“Starfuckers”: Director and Screenwriter: Antonio Marziale, Producer: Eli Raskin. An intimate evening between a film director and an escort is disrupted when a familiar face arrives. Cast: Antonio Marziale, Cole Doman, Jonathan Slavin. World Premiere.

“Training Wheels”: Director and Screenwriter: Alison Rich, Producers: Olivia Aguilar, Bridgett Greenberg, Laura Schwartz, Peter Principato. A socially inept woman rents one man to prepare for another. Cast: Alison Rich, George Basil, Jack Cutmore-Scott, Zeke Nicholson, Kathy Yamamoto. World Premiere.

“While Mortals Sleep”: Director and Screenwriter: Alex Fofonoff, Producer: Matthew James Reilly. When a cold case novelist’s career implodes, she seeks refuge at her friend’s remote vacation home. Upon arrival, she encounters a strange couple who claim to be the caretakers. As tensions build, a dark secret begins to emerge. Cast: Carie Kawa, Grace Morrison, Will Brill. World Premiere.

“Work”: Director and Screenwriter: April Maxey, Producer: Skylar Andrews. Unable to move on from a breakup, Gabi, a queer Latina freelance editor, impulsively drops into an old job at an underground lap dance party, where she unexpectedly runs into a friend from her past. Cast: Marisela Zumbado, Elaine Whae. World Premiere.

“You Go Girl!”: Director: Shariffa Ali, Screenwriters: Shariffa Ali, Kamilah Long, Courtney Williams. Audrey, a New York City comedian who can make a joke of any situation, faces a staggering challenge in the beautiful mountains of Oregon. Can this city woman overcome her fears and rise? Cast: Tiffany Mann. World Premiere.

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