Park City, Utah is about to be transformed into an indie film paradise. As it does every year, the Sundance Film Festival welcomes stars and newcomers to the wintry wonderland to share their exciting projects. The fest is often the starting ground for the fresh talent everyone will be talking about years afterward. (It's were JLaw got her big break.)
This year, MTV News will once again be bringing you everything you need to know straight from the heart of Sundance, but before we pack our snow suits, we're running down our ten most anticipated movies of the fest. For an early look at what's hot on this year's lineup, check out our preview below.
Since the announcement of its surprise addition to the festival lineup on Monday, Richard Linklater's experimental project has become the talk of Sundance. The "Before Midnight" director shot the film, which follows the life of a boy, over the course of 12 years, allowing the actors to age realistically and without the help of makeup or recasting.
Never one to shy away from controversial material, for her trip to Park City this year Kristen Stewart is heading to Guantanamo Bay. In "Camp X-Ray," Stewart plays a young prison guard at the controversial prison for terrorists. There her character strikes up a friendship with one of the inmates. It might not seem like super commercial material, but "Camp X-Ray" already has a serious following in MTV Movie Brawl.
Michael Fassbender's stellar past performances have earned him our trust. We assume that he picks the right projects for himself, no matter how bizarre they may seem at first. "Frank," the story of an eccentric musician who wears a giant head at all times, could test that theory, but this could be the kind off-beat that wins over audiences in droves.
In the last few years, a fun Sundance lifehack has become more and more dependable. It goes like this: if Brit Marling is in a movie, it's probably good. The writer and actress has appeared in four Sundance films in the last three years, all of which has been consistently good. This year, Marling returns with her "Another Earth" director Mike Cahill in another drama with sci-fi elements.
"Hoop Dreams" director Steve James based this documentary about the life of Roger Ebert on the legendary critic's memoir. So many movie lovers owe their passion to Ebert, so this will no doubt be near the top of many must-see lists.
"A Most Wanted Man"
Famed photographer Anton Corbijn has made two movies since his jump to film ("Control" and "The American"), and his third is set to debut at Sundance. An adaptation of the book by John Le Carré ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"), "A Most Wanted Man" revolves around German intelligence agents, who must find out whether their target is a Islamist terrorist or not.
"The Raid 2"
The kinetic action of "The Raid" is finally getting the super-sized follow-up that fans of the cult movie have been begging for. Writer-director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais are back for even more lightning quick fight sequences and the kind of action that Hollywood is too timid to make anymore.
"They Came Together"
It wouldn't be crazy to suggest that Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd could star in a romantic comedy together, but a much more enticing proposition would be to put them in a send-up of the genre directed by "Wet Hot American Summer" mastermind David Wain. That sounds way funnier.
"Wish I Was Here"
At Sundance, 46,000 Kickstarter contributors are going to find out what Zach Braff made with their money. This is the first major film project of this scale to face this kind of scrutiny from the people who funded it, so early reviews of this title could mean a lot for the future of movie funding.
MTV News will be coming to you from Sundance all weekend, so stick here for the latest updates from the ground.