Sundance Film Festival 2018

By Lyden, John | Journal of Religion and Film, April 2018 | Go to article overview

Sundance Film Festival 2018


Lyden, John, Journal of Religion and Film


Sundance Film Festival 2018

As we went to Park City in January once again for the Sundance and Film Festival, I was struck by the fact that there was a shortage of snow this year-but there was no shortage of great films to see.

There were 13,468 film submissions this year, including 3901 feature films, more than half of those international. 122 feature length films were selected for the Festival, representing 29 countries, along with 69 short films from 25 countries; 108 world feature film premieres, and 30 short film world premieres, were included. Of these, many were first time filmmakers (for features, 53) and many were women. 37% of the features were directed by women, and 51% of the shorts, which is considerably higher than the industry average. See my review of Half the Picture which details the experiences and challenges faced by women filmmakers today, a topic also much discussed at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Sometimes when I tell the people that I meet at Sundance that I am doing coverage for the Journal of Religion & Film, I get a sort of blank stare that often accompanies my mention of the journal to those outside the academic world. For some people, it would seem that religion and film cannot possibly have anything to do with one another, unless one were reviewing Ben Hur or Exodus: Gods and Kings. But films relate to religion in so many ways, explicitly as well as implicitly-and it was no struggle to find films on the program that were clearly about religion. …

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