It is hard to believe that the 2016 Sundance Film Festival is right around the corner! It will take place next year from January 21 to 31. A program of the Sundance Institute, the film festival takes place annually in Park City, Utah. It is the largest independent film festival in the United States. Founded by legendary actor and activist Robert Redford, Sundance features world premieres and many special events. It is also known for shining a light on amazing documentaries.

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Last year, the festival premiered 3 1/2 Minutes. Directed by Marc Silver, the documentary explored the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Documentary Sembene! by filmmakers Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman explored the life and legacy of the “father of African film,” Ousmane Sembène. Another documentary highlight from Sundance was the Nas-produced and Sacha Jenkins-directed documentary Fresh Dressed. The film looked at the history of hip-hop fashion and culture. Other compelling documentaries that premiered at Sundance included opening night film What Happened, Miss Simone? and filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.

Below are some of the documentaries, which are world premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival:

  • Maya Angelou And Still I Rise / U.S.A. (Directors: Bob Hercules, Rita Coburn Whack) — The remarkable story of Maya Angelou — iconic writer, poet, actress and activist whose life has intersected some of the most profound moments in recent American history.

  • Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall / U.S.A. (Director: Spike Lee) — Catapulted by the success of his first major solo project, Off the Wall, Michael Jackson went from child star to King of Pop. This film explores the seminal album, with rare archival footage and interviews from those who were there and those whose lives its success and legacy impacted.


  • O.J.: Made in America / U.S.A. (Director: Ezra Edelman) — This is the story of O.J. Simpson, one of the most polarizing people of the twentieth century, and the city in which he lived for much of his life, Los Angeles. The film explores Simpson’s rise and fall, centered around two of America’s greatest fixations—race and celebrity. The Festival will premiere the full 7.5-hour documentary, followed by an extended Q&A.