Sundance Film Festival: Taylor Swift documentary set to kick off diverse 2020 lineup

A documentary on Taylor Swift, directed by Lana Wilson, will open the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, programmers of the independent festival announced Wednesday while revealing a diverse slate of films.

The documentary “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana” will feature its world premiere at the festival opening Jan. 23 and will head to streaming on Netflix sometime in 2020.

The film is described in a Netflix release as a “raw and emotionally revealing look at one of the most iconic artists of our time during a transformational period in her life as she learns to embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice.”

The independent cinema showcase co-founded by Robert Redford, set for Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, announced that the 56 films from four competition categories are from 27 countries, and are composed of 46% female directors, 38% people of color and 12% LGBTQ.

“This year’s festival is full of films that showcase myriad ways for stories to drive change, across hearts, minds, and societies,” Redford, president of the Sundance Institute, said in a statement.

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The slate includes Julie Taymor’s nontraditional Gloria Steinem biopic, starring Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Bette Midler and Janelle Monáe. Dee Rees’ Joan Didion adaptation “The Last Thing He Wanted,” with Anne Hathaway and Ben Affleck, will also be unveiled.

Other anticipated films include the Will Ferrell-Julia Louis-Dreyfus remake of the Swedish film “Force Majeure,” Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the English remake tells the story of a couple whose relationship is altered after they escape an avalanche. 

Benh Zeitlin’s follow-up to his 2012 Sundance sensation, the Oscar-nominated “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” will be unveiled this year. Titled “Wendy,” the film is a “Peter Pan”-inspired adventure shot in the West Indies

A documentary about Taylor Swift will kick off the next Sundance Film Festival.

The biggest hit to emerge from last year’s crop of films was Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell,” which has grossed $17.7 million for A24 and has put star Awkwafina in the awards race. The film has been one of the bright spots in a trying marketplace this year for indie film.

Still, Sundance, where movies like “Get Out,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Big Sick” first debuted, remains the premier factory for breakout hits. Lately, that’s increasingly meant documentaries, too, including “RBG,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and, from this year’s Sundance, “Apollo 11.”

Another high-profile documentary headed to Sundance was on Monday picked up by Apple, which made its first acquisition (“Hala”) at the festival last year. Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick’s untitled film about a former music executive grappling with the decision to go public with a story of sexual assault by a notable figure in the music industry will make its premiere at Sundance. Oprah Winfrey is an executive producer.

The 2006 film "Little Miss Sunshine" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Also on tap are Michael Almereyda’s Nikola Tesla biopic “Tesla,” starring Ethan Hawke as the engineer-inventor; Florian Zeller’s “The Father,” with Anthony Hopkins as an aged man who moves to Paris, co-starring Olivia Colman; and Liz Garbus’ fiction film debut “Lost Girls,” a missing-child drama with Amy Ryan and Thomasin McKenzie.

Other notables include; Justin Simien’s horror satire “Bad Hair”; Dominic Cooke’s Cuban Missile Crisis drama “Ironbark,” with Benedict Cumberbatch; Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman,” a revenge tale led by Carey Mulligan; Sean Durkin’s ’80s-set marriage tale “The Nest,” with Jude Law and Carrie Coon; Josephine Decker’s Shirley Jackson biopic “Shirley,” starring Elisabeth Moss as “The Lottery” author; Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut “Falling”; and Miranda July’s “Kajillionaire.”

Sundance Film Festival unveils 2019 feature film slate

Other documentaries coming to Sundance include Ron Howard’s “Rebuilding Paradise,” about the aftermath of the devastating 2018 California wildfires; “The Fight,” about the ACLU’s legal battles with President Donald Trump; the Deepwater Horizon oil spill exposé “The Cost of Silence”; and Kim A. Snyder’s “Us Kids,” about the teenage survivors of Parkland, Florida.

The Associate Press contributed to this story.

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