The Sundance Film Festival is teeming with on-the-rise talent with Hollywood’s next big thing assuredly in the mix. Here are five of the buzziest breakouts from the festival.
Despite his increasing mainstream success, multihypenate renaissance man Mark Duplass works hard to maintain his indie filmmaker street cred. After launching his career with mumblecore films “The Puffy Chair,” “Baghead,” and “Cyrus,” the Sundance Film Festival veteran has moved on, conquering television with his comedic turn in “The League,” a guest-starring role on “The Mindy Project,” and his upcoming HBO show, “Togetherness,” which he begins shooting next week with frequent collaborator and brother Jay Duplass. He returns to the festival this year to mentor young filmmakers, serving as an executive producer on two films: “The Skeleton Twins” and “The One I Love,” the latter of which he stars in alongside Elisabeth Moss as an overly analytical husband trying to save his marriage. “She’s the greatest actress of our generation,” he gushes of his movie wife. The film was just picked up by Radius-TWC.
PROVENANCE: New Orleans
SUNDANCE BUZZ: “I’ve been to the festival 11 times but I’m not an old fart. I think I’m perceived as a veteran because people come to Sundance as a launching pad to get into the Hollywood system. That did work for me, but I’m at my most vital and best when I’m here with people like first-time filmmaker Charlie [MacDowell, who directed ‘The One I Love’] who’s the [same] age [I was] when I made ‘The Puffy Chair.’”
KEEPING IT REEL: “I miss when I was 25, scrapping with my brother, hanging lights myself, making movies that way. I’m also deathly afraid of becoming like some of my favorite filmmakers who have, like, 10 years of vitality and relevance, and then they just start making sh---y stuff.”
AHA MOMENT: “We had a huge sale for ‘The Skeleton Twins,’ which is different for me to be in that stratosphere. That was very exciting. But better than that, I had a moment last night where our after party was too loud, and I walked outside and sat down on a pile of snow by myself, and I was like, ‘I can’t believe I grew up in the suburbs watching movies and never thought I would be able to make a movie, much less come to Sundance and have people watch my stuff.’”
UP NEXT: “‘Togetherness.’ It’s about two couples who live in the same house. The heart of the show is about achieving personal dreams, but at the same time compromising enough to be a good dad and husband and son and best friend. And that seems to be an impossible task, at least in my life.”
— JENNY SUNDEL