Sundance Film Festival is one of the prestigious and most iconic film festivals and is a place where independent cinema gets the chance to be seen.

Tangerine

Tangerine

Each year we see new directors and actors make a name for themselves at the festival with many of the most popular and legendary directors of all time kicking off their careers at Sundance, with their films becoming instant classics.

Once of the 2015 movies that grabbed everyone's attention came in the form of Tangerine, which has gone to play well and extensively on the festival circuit.

Tangerine marks the return of Sean Baker to the director's chair, in what will be his first feature since Starlet back in 2012. The film also introduces us to new acting talent as Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor take on the central roles of Sin-Dee and Alexandra.

To celebrate the release of Tangerine in cinemas today, we've made a list of ten of the most enduring classics ever to debut at Sundance.

- Hedwig and The Angry Inch (2001)

Hedwig and the Angry Inch was one of the movies that made waves at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and marked the feature film directorial debut of John Cameron Mitchell.

The queer rock and roll musical to rule them all, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, adapted by Mitchell, who also starred and wrote the original musical and film. Hedwig tells the story of a genderqueer East German singer named Hedwig who, with her rock band, tracks down her ex-lover to get revenge for plagiarizing her songs.

The film, with wonderful music and a propulsive story, was a Sundance hit and went on to scoop the Best Director and Audience Awards at the festival. It was a movie that continued to win over critics and audiences after its Sundance screening as Mitchell picked up a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination for his work.

He went on to win Best Directorial Debut at the National Board of Review and the Gotham Awards. Mitchell has only made two feature films since but has also worked in television and continued acting.

Recently, the story of Hedwig has been revitalized with a Broadway revival led by Neil Patrick Harris in the lead role.

- Before Sunrise (1995)

Hard to believe that it was twenty years ago when we were first introduced to the characters of Jesse and Celine - played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy - for the first time. Two decades on, and we have had two more movies in what has become a terrific and touching franchise.

Before Sunrise was the fourth feature film for writer and director Richard Linklater as teamed up with Hawke and Delpy for the first time. The movie received its world premiere at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, before being released at the end of January in the U.S. that same year.

The tale of an American man and a French woman who spend a night together talking in Vienna, the movie was different from what people were used to, yet instantly familiar. Before Sunrise tapped into that feeling of finding someone who you can talk to for hours, an instant connection, only to lose that person hours later. Beautifully written, acted, and directed, Before Sunrise is a classic in every sense.

The movie went on to play at the Berlin International Film festival - where Linklater won the Silver Bear for Best Director - as well as won over an army of critics and film lovers.

It was the start of a great collaboration between Linklater, Hawke and Delpy as they reunited in 2004 for Before Sunset and in 2013 for Before Midnight. For the second and third movies, the trio also penned the screenplays together.

- Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire (2010)

Precious marked the second feature film for director Lee Daniels when he returned with the film in 2009/2010. The film did not have a distributor when it premiered at Sundance in 2009 - UK audiences has to wait until the start of 2010 before it was released in this country.

Precious is a sixteen year old girl living in '80s Harlem who suffers abuse in every aspect of her life, mothering two children born of sexual assault by her father.

Precious catches the attention of a schoolteacher and a social worker who try to put Precious on a better path. Precious is a perfect example of a film that illuminates the story of someone who might've never had their story told.

Precious was a brave and bold film for director Daniels and was the debut role for actress Gabourey Sidibe. The movie picked up the Audience Award, the Grand Jury Prize for best drama and a Special Jury Prize for supporting actress Mo'Nique before going on to feature heavily on the festival circuit that year.

However, it was by being screened at Sundance, that the movie received the support of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, who helped with the film's promotion.

The movie went on to be nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture. On the night, Precious won Best Supporting Actress for Mo'Nique and Best Adapted screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher.

- Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Napoleon Dynamite was one of the most talked about movies when it burst onto the scene in 2004, marking the feature film directorial debut of Jared Hess.

Nothing says Sundance like a first time director with a singular vision blowing everyone away. Nobody could've expected Napoleon Dynamite to hit the way it did. Jared Hess' debut took the festival (and the world) by storm with its unique sense of humour and an unlikely leading man in the young Jon Heder.

Telling an epic political story of one man's struggle to become class president featuring a Llama named Tina and a dance scene that would live on in infamy, Napoleon Dynamite represents the true Sundance spirit.

Napoleon Dynamite debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2004, where it was acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

Napoleon Dynamite went on to be a cult hit and sent the star of Jon Heder rocketing - it remains one of his most well-known roles.

- Brick (2006)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the most exciting actors around and Brick was one of the films that really did help to put him on the map in the mid noughties.

While the film didn't hit the big screen here in the UK until May 2006, it was at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival where Brick screened.

Future Star Wars Episode VIII Director Rian Johnson got his start at Sundance, where as he teamed up with Gordon-Levitt for the first time for their High School Noir film. Brick was the feature film directorial debut for Johnson, who also penned the film's screenplay.

The central conceit of Brick is that these High School kids speak with lines that seem ripped directly from the famous noirs of the '50s. Showcasing Johnson's talent for racketing up tension to almost unbearable levels as well as Leavitt's unending natural charisma, Brick announced that Johnson and Levitt were a force to be reckoned with - they would go on to work together again on sci-fi film Looper in 2012.

Brick won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision and has gone on to become a cult classic. As for Johnson, he is now on board the Star Wars franchise and is currently directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is due out in 2017.

- Beasts of The Southern Wild (2012)

Beasts of The Southern Wild was one of the most original movies of 2012, which really did take audiences on a great adventure - while tugging on the heartstrings at the same time.

Beasts of The Southern Wild was based on Juicy and Delicious by Lucy Alibar and was the feature film directorial debut for Benh Zeitlin, who also penned the screenplay with Alibar.

Beasts tells the story of Hushpuppy and her daddy's tribulations as they desperately try to cling to a way of life that the modern world had left behind. Much of the film goes unexplained, leaving audiences to interpret for themselves what the story means.

Featuring a knockout performance from then 6 year old Quvenzhané Wallis and a deeply emotional score co-composed by the director, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantastic showcase of the indie spirit of Sundance.

Beasts of The Southern Wild was one of the most talked about movies of 2012 as it played a whole host of festivals, winning over everyone as it went along. The movie went on to be nominated for four Oscars in 2013, including Best Picture.

- The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project was one of the biggest horror movies of the nineties and changed the way that movies were marketed forever.

The most profitable film of all time, The Blair Witch Project popularized the found footage genre. Made from less than $50,000, the movie ended up making over $250,000,000.

Sold to the general public as a true story, the movie became an instant hit. With a robust mythology written around the film, it exploded out of Sundance, into theatres, and into the halls of cinema history.

Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, The Blair Witch Project was the first film to really us the internet and viral marketing to promote and create a buzz about the film.

The movie was both a critical and commercial smash and remains one of the best and most successful horror movies of all time.

- Clerks (1995)

Kevin Smith made his feature film directorial debut back in 1995 when he brought Clerks to the big screen - a film that would go on to launch his career.

Clerks was written and directed by Smith and was shot in the video stores he had worked in in real life.

Clerks tapped into the apathy of a generation that didn't want to grow up, focusing on a day in the life of a store clerk and the conversations he finds himself in.

These talks range from romantic squabbles to pointless conversations on the ethics of destroying the death star in Return of The Jedi. Clerks was a unique creation born of Kevin Smith's own experiences working at a video store, could it be more Sundance?

Clerks was made for a rather measly $27.5 million and went on to gross $3.2 million at the box office - as well as gain an army of fans along the way.

- Memento (2000)

Christopher Nolan has had a glittering career so far with the like of the Batman movies and Inception making him one of the most in-demand directors. But it was Memento back in 2000 that really put him on the map.

Memento was the second feature film of his career - he has also penned the screenplay - and came two years after he made his debut with Following.

Memento's narrative 'hook' is that the film is told in two storylines, one chronologically from the beginning, the other in reverse chronological order. The climax of the film technically takes place in the middle of the movie, chronologically.

Guy Pearce stars as a man with anterograde amnesia, meaning he forgets recent memories after a few minutes. With one of the definitive twist endings of the 00s, Memento shows a young director showing the world what he can do.

Memento's promotional tour was brought to a close with its screening at Sundance in 2001, after it premiered at the Venice International Film Festival the year before.

The movie was nominated for two Oscars, Best Screenplay and Best Film Editing, and it really kicked off Nolan's career.

- Reservoir Dogs (1993)

Quentin Tarantino is another filmmaker that has gone on to truly great things but it was Sundance that gave him his major breakthrough with Reservoir Dogs.

Reservoir Dogs was the feature film directorial debut for Tarantino and went on to be one of the most talked about films at Sundance that year - it resulted in Miramax picking up the film.

Reservoir Dogs tells the story of a ruined burglary and the intensely bloody fallout. The film takes place almost entirely in one room, letting us see in real time how these men double cross and plot against each other.

The movie gave audiences a first look at the nonlinear storylines and stylistically excessive violence that he is now so famous. It is also regarded an important moment for independent filmmaking.

Tarantino went on from Reservoir Dogs' Sundance debut to become one of the most acclaimed and loved directors currently working today, after enjoying success with the likes of Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained over the years.

Tangerine is in cinemas Friday.


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