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Deadline’s Doc Talk Podcast: Sundance Programmers Preview Festival’s Documentary Lineup – Will Ferrell, Christopher Reeve Films & More

When the Oscar shortlist of feature documentaries was announced in December, it was dominated by films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival – films like Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni ProjectThe Eternal MemoryBeyond Utopia and A Still Small Voice.

The shortlist announcement provided the latest evidence of the festival’s status as the prime launchpad for the best in documentary filmmaking – and whets the appetite for the upcoming 40th edition of Sundance, which starts Thursday.

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In the new edition of Deadline’s Doc Talk podcast, we talk with Sundance programmers Basil Tsiokos and Sudeep Sharma about what to expect from the festival’s nonfiction lineup. They tell us about Will & Harper, a road trip movie with Will Ferrell and his close friend Harper Steele that explores their evolving relationship after Harper’s transition, and Super/Man, the film about Christopher Reeve that features the late star’s children.

Tsiokos selects one standout film for him, the biographical look at a 20th century artist who is beloved as much or more today than during her lifetime. And they discuss an anniversary screening at Sundance of an Oscar-winning documentary that arguably changed American culture (and was later adapted into a narrative film, earning its Hollywood star his second Oscar).

Doc Talk co-host John Ridley puts Sharma on the spot with one query – after stipulating that he’s “not trying to Jake Tapper him” with his pointed question. And he admits one aside about arthouse movies — and a remark about Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. — may be the big thing people take away from the episode.

That’s on Doc Talk, hosted by Oscar-winner Ridley (12 Years a Slave, director of the documentary Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992) and Deadline’s Documentary Editor Matt Carey. The podcast is a production of Deadline and Ridley’s Nō Studios, presented with support from National Geographic Documentary Films.

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