Sundance 2023: Doc About Stephen Curry and New Film From ‘Once’ Director John Carney Join Lineup

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival has added more films to this year’s lineup.

Irish writer-director-producer John Carney, whose Oscar-winning film “Once” premiered in Park City in 2007, followed by “Sing Street” in 2016, will return this month for the world premiere of “Flora and Son,” starring Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Carney’s latest film to explore the power of song, “Flora and Son” is the story of a single mother (Hewson, recently seen in “Bad Sisters”) who “rescues a beat-up guitar from a dumpster and finds that one person’s trash can be a family’s salvation,” according to the Sundance synopsis. Anthony Bregman, Peter Cron, Rebecca O’Flanagan, Robert Walpole are producers.

Another filmmaker familiar with the festival is Peter Nicks, who will premiere his latest documentary, “Stephen Curry: Underrated.” Nicks, who debuted “Homeroom” at Sundance in 2021, produced his new film alongside Ryan Coogler and Erick Peyton. As the title indicates, the doc is a look at four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry. Via archival footage and on-camera interviews, “Underrated” charts Curry’s journey from “undersized college player” to one of the most influential players in the history of the sport.

“Stephen Curry: Underrated” (Sundance Institute)
“Stephen Curry: Underrated” (Sundance Institute)

Madeleine Gavin, who has attended the festival in years past in support of films she edited, will be on hand this year for the world premiere of “Beyond Utopia,” the documentary she directed that uses hidden-camera footage to track the dangerous journeys of families trying to escape oppression. It will play in the U.S. Documentary Competition category.

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“Earth Mama,” a drama written, directed and produced by Savanah Leaf, and “Past Lives,” from first-time filmmaker Celine Strong (and produced by Christine Vachon), will also debut at the festival.

In addition to these premieres, this year’s event will also host encore screenings of previous Sundance Film Festival award winners “Klondike,” “Navalny,” “CODA” and “Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” the latter two of which also won Oscars. Because these films were screened during the 2021 and 2022 festivals, when COVID was still raging, most audiences experienced them online. This year, they will be shown in person for the first time.

In a statement, Kim Yutani, Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming, said, “These five new films round out our program in an exciting and emotional way. They are cinematic experiences that delight, entertain, and keep us on the edge of our seats. The works introduce us to new voices, along with directors we’re excited to welcome back to the Festival. Having four encore films play in Utah is truly a homecoming. While they reached audiences around the world, wherever they were, this year they will return to fuel the energy and excitement at the heart of the Sundance community.”

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 19–29, in Park City, Salt Lake City, and the Sundance Resort. Additionally, many films will be available online across the country January 24-29.

Previously announced narrative features playing at this year’s fest include “Shortcomings” (Randall Park’s directorial debut); “Sometimes I Think About Dying,” starring Daisy Ridley; “Theater Camp” from Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman; “Magazine Dreams,” headlined by Jonathan Majors and Taylour Paige; and “A Thousand and One,” produced by Lena Waithe and starring Teyana Taylor.

Among the films announced to be competing in the U.S. Documentary Competition are Lisa Cortés’ “Little Richard: I Am Everything;” “Going Varsity in Mariachi,” which dives into the world of competitive high school mariachi; and “The Stroll,” a history of New York City’s Meatpacking District told from the perspective of transgender sex workers.

You can check out the full lineup to date on the festival’s site.

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