The Sundance Film Festival is an American institution. Founded by Robert Redford (hence the name), the festival is the place for independent movies to get picked up for wider distribution. Which is a very dry way of saying it's the place where all your soon-to-be-favourite indie hits of the year get their first public airing, before studios erupt into vicious bidding wars for the honour of bringing those films to a multiplex near you.
Sundance is the place where basically any big independent success started, with the first festival featuring such classics as Deliverance, A Streetcar Named Desire, Midnight Cowboy and Mean Streets. Yep, Sundance is big news. It's also a good opportunity to get a heads up on some of the more interesting cinematic outings coming your way in the coming year.
This year's festival appears to be especially ripe with cool stuff, from enlightening documentaries to ground breaking dramas, dark comedies to stylish horror flicks, with established stars and up-and-coming talent rubbing shoulders. And a film called Chuck Norris Vs Communism, if your appetite hasn't been whetted enough already.
Young adult adaptations, daring exposés, Jason Segel's dramatic debut and the return of Jack Black are all included in the twenty hit Sundance films that'll hit your screens in 2015.
The undisputed breakout success of Sundance 2015 was this adaptation of Jesse Andrews's debut novel, which inspired a frenzied bidding war resulting in Fox Searchlight buying the distribution rights for some $12 million - a new Sundance record. So, was it worth it?
Decide for yourself when it gets a wide release later this year, but all the signs are looking good. The story of an awkward high schooler befriending a classmate with leukaemia, Me & Earl & The Dying Girl has earned rave reviews for being alternately touching and hilarious, expertly shot by veteran TV director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, with appearances by Parks And Recreation's Nick Offerman and The Walking Dead's Jon Bernthal.