Sundance Film Festival 2023: Opening highlights

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced it go completely virtual for the past two years, the 2023 Sundance Film Festival — one of the leading showcases for independent narrative and documentary films — returned Thursday with in-person screenings to kick off the festival in Park City, Utah.

The showcase, which runs for 11 days, will also make virtual screenings available across the U.S. via Sundance’s digital platform from Jan. 24-30.

The festival includes 110 feature-length films from 28 countries, most of which are world premieres.

There will be documentaries about actors Michael J. Fox and Brooke Shields, NBA star Stephen Curry, author Judy Blume, and rock ‘n’ roll artists Little Richard and the Indigo Girls.

Other documentaries will also cover such topics as the war in Ukraine (“20 Days in Mariupol”), the pandemic (“A Still Small Voice”), refugees from North Korea (“Beyond Utopia”), South African apartheid (“Milisuthando”), the effects of Alzheimer’s (“The Eternal Memory”), sexual assault (“Victim/Suspect”), the hardships facing farmers and restaurants during COVID (“Food and Country”), indigenous and Native American rights (“Twice Colonized,” “Bad Press”), body image issues (“Is There Anybody Out There?”), the societal impact of photography (“Fantastic Machine”), cults (“AUM: The Cult at the End of the World”), film fanaticism (“Kim’s Video”), and protections for transgender sex workers (“The Stroll”).

A last-minute addition to the festival lineup, announced Thursday, is