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Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane and Chloë Grace Moretz appear in The Miseducation of Cameron Post at the 2018 Sundance FIlm Festival.

Parka-clad indie darlings and Hollywood heavy hitters are descending upon Park City, Utah, for the 34th annual Sundance Film Festival, which begins Thursday. Swag suites and all-night ragers aside, the 10-day independent film bonanza, founded by Robert Redford, still remains a hotbed for discovering emerging talent and breakout hits, like last year’s “Call Me By Your Name,” “Get Out,” “The Big Sick” and “Mudbound.”

With a jam-packed program, the furry boot-sporting set should forgo sleeping in — especially on Saturday morning when the Respect Rally serves as a worthy wake-up call in more ways than one, building off the success of last year’s well-attended March on Main and the burgeoning #metoo movement.

The female-forward theme will be felt from the streets to the screens, thanks to strong women both onscreen and off — 38 percent of the program’s 121 feature-length films (30 in competition) have women at the helm. And with a slew of directorial debuts from actors, including Paul Dano and Idris Elba, there should be no shortage of drama both in and out of the theaters, where crowd-pleasers often ignite bidding wars between hungry dealmakers.

Here, WWD’s crib sheet to the best of the fest.

Kristen Stewart and Chloë Sevigny appear in <i>Lizzie</i> at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Kristen Stewart and Chloë Sevigny appear in “Lizzie” an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film FestivalCourtesy of Sundance Institute

LIZZIE
CATEGORY: U.S. Dramatic Competition
DIRECTOR: Craig William Macneill
CAST: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Kim Dickens, Denis O’Hare
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Sevigny makes her umpteenth appearance at the fest to produce and play the lead in “Lizzie,” based on Lizzie Borden, the infamous ax-wielding murderess from the 1890s. After her failed attempt at an HBO miniseries with Tom Hanks, Sevigny focuses on the softer side of the New Englander by focusing on her illicit affair with the live-in maid, played by Stewart.

Aml Ameen appears in <i>Yardie</i> at the 2018 Sundance Film Festiva

Aml Ameen appears in “Yardie” an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alex Bailey

YARDIE
CATEGORY: World Cinema Dramatic Competition
DIRECTOR: Idris Elba
CAST: Aml Ameen, Shantol Jackson, Stephen Graham, Fraser James, Sheldon Shepherd, Everaldo Cleary
BEHIND THE BUZZ: With juicy source material — the cult Victor Headley novel — and a lauded actor-turned-director at the helm, watch for a killer performance from Aml Ameen as a Jamaican drug dealer on a doomed gang-related mission to London during the Seventies.

Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts appear in Ophelia at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts appear in “Ophelia,” an official selection of the Premieres Program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute/Photo by Dusan Martincek

OPHELIA
CATEGORY: Premieres
DIRECTOR: Claire McCarthy
CAST: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, George MacKay, Tom Felton, Devon Terrell
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Leave it to a female director to flip the damsel-in-distress trope on its head in this alt interpretation of “Hamlet,” based on the YA novel by Lisa Klein. The acting promises to be as epic as the hair (think cascading waist-length waves), with fest fixture Naomi Watts as Hamlet’s mom and Ridley as the Bard’s leading lady.

COLETTE
CATEGORY: Premieres
DIRECTOR: Wash Westmoreland
CAST: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Eleanor Tomlinson, Aiysha Hart
BEHIND THE BUZZ: While many stars go against type at this indie showcase, Knightley plays right into her sweet spot in this historical tale about one of France’s leading female novelists at the turn of the century in Paris.

Vivienne Westwood appears in <i>Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist</i> at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Vivienne Westwood appears in “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist” an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  AFP/Getty Images

WESTWOOD: PUNK, ICON, ACTIVIST
CATEGORY: World Cinema Documentary Competition
DIRECTOR: Lorna Tucker
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Rarely is the filmmaker’s life as fascinating as the subject, but Tucker proves to be the exception. The former heroin addict went from homeless to haute couture after being discovered by a modeling scout on the streets of London. While a feature film based on the documentarian’s own life is still in the works, she offers an intimate look at the punk-rock provocateur who took a chance on her.

Carey Mulligan appears in <i>Wildlife</i> at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Carey Mulligan appears in “Wildlife,” an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute

WILDLIFE
CATEGORY: U.S. Dramatic Competition
DIRECTOR: Paul Dano
CAST: Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp, Jake Gyllenhaal
BEHIND THE BUZZ: This labor of love, penned by indie couple Dano (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and Zoe Kazan (“The Big Sick”), has all the ingredients for fest success. Set in scenic Montana in the Sixties and based on Richard Ford’s novel, Mulligan and Gyllenhaal star as a couple in crisis.

Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson appear in <i>Damsel</i> at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson appear in “Damsel” at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Adam Stone

DAMSEL
CATEGORY: Premieres
DIRECTOR: David and Nathan Zellner
CAST: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner, Robert Forster, Nathan Zellner, Joe Billingiere
BEHIND THE BUZZ: The still swoon-worthy Pattinson saddles up to play the romantic lead in this quirky Western from the multihyphenate Zellner brothers, who broke out at the fest in 2014 with the lovably loony “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter.”

Joaquin Phoenix and Johah Hill appear in <i>Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot</i> at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill appear in “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot” at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute/Scott Patrick Green

DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT
DIRECTOR: Gus Van Sant
CATEGORY: Premieres
CAST: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black
BEHIND THE BUZZ: With a tongue-in-cheek title and a deep comedy bench that includes a particularly hirsute Hill, expect some twisted humor in Van Sant’s take on cartoonist John Callahan, an alcoholic confined to a wheelchair after a hardcore bender.

Benjamin Dickey and Alia Shawkat appear in <i>BLAZE</i> at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Benjamin Dickey and Alia Shawkat appear in “Blaze,” an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Steve Cosens

BLAZE
DIRECTOR: Ethan Hawke
CATEGORY: U.S. Dramatic Competition
CAST: Benjamin Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Sexton
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Hawke’s passion project delves deep into the legend of Blaze Foley, an unsung singer-songwriter from the Texas Outlaw movement known more for his bar dustups than his ditties. Newcomer Dickey may end up a breakout star.

Elle Fanning and Peter Dinklage appear in <i>I Think We're Alone Now</i> 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Elle Fanning and Peter Dinklage appear in “I Think We’re Alone Now,” an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute

I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW
CATEGORY: U.S. Dramatic Competition
DIRECTOR: Reed Morano
CAST: Elle Fanning, Peter Dinklage
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Morano, fresh off her Emmy win for directing “The Handmaid’s Tale,” takes on the dystopian yet again, this time with Dinklage and Fanning playing post-apocalyptic companions, whether they like it or not.

Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, and Chris O'Dowd appear in <i>Juliet, Naked</i> at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne and Chris O’Dowd appear in “Juliet, Naked” at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alex Bailey

JULIET, NAKED
CATEGORY: Premieres
DIRECTOR: Jesse Peretz
CAST: Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Hawke hits all the right notes as an obscure past-his-prime rocker who threatens to come between a couple in this rom-com, adapted from Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel. With Judd Apatow’s endorsement (and producing credit), Peretz, known for his work on “Girls” and “Glow,” is poised to become Hollywood’s hottest comedy director.

Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane and Chloë Grace Moretz appear in <i>The Miseducation of Cameron Post</i> at the 2018 Sundance FIlm Festival.

Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane and Chloë Grace Moretz appear in “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jeong Park

THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST
CATEGORY: U.S. Dramatic Competition
DIRECTOR: Desiree Akhavan
CAST:
Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Moretz stars in this coming-of-age story, based on Emily Danforth’s novel about a girl forced into gay conversion therapy after having sex with the prom queen.

AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN
CATEGORY: NEXT
DIRECTOR: Jim Hosking
CAST: Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Craig Robinson
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Hosking, who debuted “The Greasy Strangler” in 2016, returns with this oddball gem, starring Plaza as an unhappily married woman named Lulu Danger who reconnects with a mystery man, in town to perform an event entitled “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn.”

Abra, Odessa Young, Hari Nef and Suki Waterhouse appear in <i>Assassination Nation</i> 2018 Sundance Film festival.

Abra, Odessa Young, Hari Nef and Suki Waterhouse appear in “Assassination Nation” at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute

ASSASSINATION NATION
CATEGORY: Midnight
DIRECTOR: Sam Levinson
CAST: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bill Skårsgard, Bella Thorne
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Four suburban teenage girls get hacked and madness ensues in this satirical thriller/cautionary tale for the social media set, taking #slay to a whole new level, literally.

Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson appear in <i>Sorry to Bother You</i> 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson appear in “Sorry to Bother You” at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Doug Emmett

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
CATEGORY: U.S. Dramatic Competition
DIRECTOR: Boots Riley
CAST: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Patton Oswalt, Terry Crews
BEHIND THE BUZZ: Stanfield has three projects at the fest, but rapper Riley’s feature directorial debut about a gifted telemarketer has the most buzz (not to mention the best soundtrack), thanks in part to Hammer’s portrayal of a cocaine-snorting CEO.

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