Two Scottish films head to Sundance Film Festival

The annual Sundance Film Festival takes place 19 – 29 January, bringing together original films and filmmakers from across the globe to Park City, Utah. We’re delighted that this year sees two Screen Scotland funded films premiere at the world-renowned festival.  

In recent years, Sundance has been a significant platform for showcasing Scottish film, including Jono McLeod’s jaw-dropping documentary My Old School starring Alan Cumming which premiered at last year’s festival. 

Find out more about the films heading off to Sundance 2023 below. 


GIRL is the debut feature film from writer/director Adura Onashile and Scottish Production company barry crerar. 

The film follows Grace (Déborah Lukumuena) and her 11-year-old daughter Ama (Le'Shantey Bonsu) who are building a new life for themselves in Glasgow, a city where everything feels strange and hostile. Traumatised by her past, Grace just wants to keep her daughter safe from harm. Ama is told to trust nobody. When Ama makes friends with a classmate, it only adds to Grace’s anxiety and fear that their special bond is under threat. 

GIRL is Adura’s first feature following her Scottish BAFTA nominated short film Expensive Shit in 2020 also produced by barry crerar. Ciara Barry and Rosie Crerar, the production duo behind barry crerar, were included in Screen International and Screen Scotland’s first-ever Rising Stars Scotland line-up in 2022, a major talent spotlight for Scottish filmmakers and actors. 

The coming-of-age film accessed National Lottery and Scottish Government funding through Screen Scotland’s Film Development and Production Fund and was also supported by the BFI (awarding National Lottery funding) and BBC Film, in association with Great Point Media. 

Screening in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, GIRL joins a line-up of 12 narrative feature films from emerging talent around the world offering fresh perspectives and inventive styles. 

World Premiere: 1am Monday, 23 January at Park Avenue Theatre 

Black women grades young daughter at fairground ride.Still from Girl, courtesy of barry crerar

Is There Anybody Out There? 

Is There Anybody Out There? is a deeply personal documentary from writer/director Ella Glendining who is dedicated to telling authentic disabled stories. 

Ella was born with a disability so rare that no reliable statistics for it exist. Is There Anybody Out There? sees the filmmaker who loves her unusual body search the world for another person like her and explores what it takes to love oneself fiercely despite the pervasiveness of ableism. 

The film accessed National Lottery and Scottish Government funding through Screen Scotland’s Film Production and Development Fund to enable Scottish based documentary production company Tigerlily Two  to co-produce a compelling debut creative documentary with a strong positive disability voice and theme. 

Is There Anybody Out There? is screening in the World Cinema Documentary Competition alongside 12 non-fiction films from emerging talent around the world showcasing some of the most courageous and extraordinary filmmaking. 

World Premiere: 10pm Sunday, 22 January at Prospector Square Theatre 

Writer/director Ella GlendiningElla Glendining, courtesy of Hot Property Films

View the full festival programme on the Sundance Institute website

Header image: 2020 Egyptian Theatre, Sundance Film Festival © Sundance Institute | photo by Stephen Speckman