The new year brings an exciting time in the film industry as Sundance Film Festival takes place from Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sundance will be completely virtual for the first time in its history. With an effort to ramp up inclusivity and diversity for the last couple of years, Sundance created initiatives to ensure Black filmmakers and film critics were brought into the elite fold.

With this virtual fest, there is an opportunity to offer wider audiences a chance to view the films as capacity has risen from limited seating theaters and auditoriums to the freedom of being able to host as much as the fest’s servers can handle.

Here are five Black films that will be featured and premiered at Sundance this year. Each film has its own cinematic flavor and perspectives on the topics of colorism, arts and culture, romance, literature and politics. It’s important to celebrate the uniqueness of these films by moving away from the Black monolith and embracing our individual talents within the film industry and creative realms. Take note of these films in anticipation of these breakout new offerings from Black filmmakers and actors.

“AILEY”—Emmy award-winning director Jamila Wignot directs a portrait of the iconic African American choreographer and Alvin Ailey Dance Company founded in 1958.

Premieres Jan. 30

“Summer Of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”—The Roots drummer, Grammy winner and best-selling author Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson explores the overlooked Harlem Cultural Festival that occurred at the same time as Woodstock during the summer of 1969.

Premieres Jan. 28

“On the Count of Three”—Young director Jerrod Carmichael offers his first dark comedy feature film about friendship, suicide and second chances.

Premiers Jan. 29

“Passing”—Sundance darling, actress Tessa Thompson (“Sylvie’s Love,” “Dear White People”) returns to the fest this year with a 1920s period piece about colorism in America.

Premieres Jan. 30

“R#J”—Emerging Black director Casey Williams reimagines the story of Romeo and Juliet for the post-modern millennial gaze.

Premieres Jan. 30

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