The Sundance film festival has long showcased breakout actors and potential Academy Award contenders. But in 2018, major music artists will be driving much of the conversation at the annual film summit in Park City, Utah. “This, by far, was the year with the most options,” says Jarom Rowland, senior manager of the festival’s film music program.
The fest has already established its music-documentary bona fides with premieres of the Oscar-winning films Searching for Sugar Man in 2012 and 20 Feet From Stardom in 2013. The long-awaited MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. will be unveiled on Jan. 21 after years of delays; it captures the life and provocative art of M.I.A. by using an archive of the Sri Lankan performer’s own footage. Punk trailblazer Joan Jett is the subject of Bad Reputation, named after her defiant rock’n’roll anthem: Directed by music video veteran Kevin Kerlsake, the doc charts the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s rise from 1970s band The Runaways to mainstream solo stardom.