Women and Minorities to be Featured Heavily at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

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"This year’s festival is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions and entertainment. In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in the pursuit of truth and art; culture reaps the reward.”

Features were announced for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Screenings will be held in Park City, Salt Lake City, and at Sundance Mountain Resort January 24 – February 3, 2019. This year, there was a record-breaking number of submissions (14,259) from 152 countries.

The numbers are impressive across the board. Here are only some:

 112 feature-length films have been selected representing thirty-three countries. The most notable numbers come from women and minorities being represented. In the US Dramatic Competition, 43% of directors are women; 41% are people of color; 18% are LGBTQIA. 44% of the directors in the U.S. Documentary Competition are women; 22% are people of color; 5% are LGBTQIA. Of the sixty-one directors in all four competition categories, encompassing fifty-six films, 42% are women, 39% are people of color, and 23% identify as LGBTQIA.

These numbers are huge. Representation by women and minorities, not only from the United States, but across the globe, can redefine what film festivals showcase in the future. In the last year, festivals have made a point to search for or give space to underrepresented groups. Whether this change is a result of recent events like #MeToo, or program directors genuinely wanting to hear others’ voices is unknown. Whatever the reason, this is the opportunity most underrepresented filmmakers have been waiting for to show the world what they have to say. Hopefully, this moment in film history is not only a blip, but an explosion.