Arts

Massachusetts will be well-represented at 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Claire Danes and Jim Parsons star in “A Kid Like Jake.”
Claire Danes and Jim Parsons star in “A Kid Like Jake.”

A wide array of films with Massachusetts ties will screen in Park City, Utah, in January during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, which unveiled its entire feature lineup in an announcement this week.

Holyoke-bred actress Ann Dowd, who earned an Emmy last year for her work on Hulu’s best drama winner “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is a Sundance MVP this year, appearing in four selected titles: “Nancy,” “A Kid Like Jake,” “Tyrel,” and “American Animals.”

“Nancy,” a psychological drama directed by award-winning short filmmaker Christina Choe, centers on a serial imposter, played by Andrea Riseborough, whose myriad lies begin to unravel, throwing the life she’s fought hard to fabricate into jeopardy. Steve Buscemi and John Leguizamo also star.

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“A Kid Like Jake,” directed by Silas Howard, is a family drama set within the high-stakes world of New York private schools, focused on two parents (Claire Danes and Jim Parsons) growing apart as they attempt to do right by their precocious, Cinderella-loving 4-year-old son. A Mass. native, Boston-based Paul Bernon, is among the producers for the film, which makes its world premiere at the festival; his Burn Later Productions partner Sam Slater executive-produces.

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The pair switch those roles on another Sundance film this year: Red Hook-set drama “Hearts Beat Loud,” in which a father and daughter become a songwriting duo the summer before she’s scheduled to leave for college. Slater is a producer on the film, with Bernon executive-producing. Brett Haley is behind the camera on the film, which makes its world premiere at Sundance and stars Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons.

In “Tyrel,” a drama from Sebastián Silva, a group of guys go on a birthday weekend trip to a Catskills cabin, where one (Jason Mitchell) spirals out of control grappling with the fact that he’s the only black person in attendance. Caleb Landry Jones, Christopher Abbott, and Michael Cera also star.

And in based-on-a-true-story “American Animals,” from Bart Layton, four young men mistake their lives for a movie and attempt to pull off an audacious art heist. Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, and Jared Abrahamson are taking on the key roles opposite Dowd.

Boston-born Ben Foster is starring in another Sundance world premiere, a still-untitled adaptation of the Peter Rock novel “My Abandonment” from “Winter’s Bone” director Debra Granik, about a father (Foster) and daughter (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie) who live peacefully on a nature reserve until authorities discover them, precipitating a flight deeper into the wilderness. Linda Reisman, who teaches at Emerson, is among the producers.

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Massachusetts connections don’t end there. Ben Lewin’s stranger-than-fiction espionage biopic “The Catcher Was a Spy,” which stars Paul Rudd as Major League catcher and coach Moe Berg, who later served as a US spy during World War II, shot scenes at Fenway Park earlier this year. It will make its world premiere at Sundance.