Documentaries exploring sexuality and fame via the life stories of supermodel Brooke Shields, singer Little Richard, and author Judy Blume are among the lineup for next month’s Sundance film festival unveiled Wednesday.
Co-founded by Robert Redford and renowned for launching major independent, art houses and documentary films, the festival is set to return in-person to the mountains of Utah from January 19, after two previous editions were forced to take place online due to COVID.
Stars including Anne Hathaway, Emilia Clarke, Jason Momoa, and Chiwetel Ejiofor all have feature films in the lineup, while Emilia Jones returns to the festival that first played her best picture Oscar winner CODA, with two new movies of her own.
On the documentary side, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields tells the story of the global supermodel and actress who first achieved fame aged 12, and reflects on the objectification, sexualization, and commodification of women and young girls.
Judy Blume Forever charts how the US young adult fiction author came under attack for sexual content and offensive language in the 1980s, leading her to take a stand against book banning and censorship.
Similarly, The Disappearance of Shere Hite tracks the pioneering feminist author of The Hite Report, whose bestselling 1976 book on the female orgasm provoked a sexual revolution, but who was forced to vanish from the public eye after drawing vicious criticism.
And documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything tackles the Black queer origins of rock ‘n’ roll via the late, flamboyant singer, who renounced homosexuality and became a born-again Christian in later years.
Another prominent and topical theme in the lineup of films is by and about Iranian women. Documentary Joonam, and feature films The Persian Version and Shayda all explore the stories of women in Iran and its diaspora communities, at a time when the country has been rocked by protests over its strict female dress code.
The 2023 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 to 29.