Oscars: Sundance Films Nab 16 Nominations

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom/Sony Pictures Classics
'Call Me by Your Name'

"It's heartening to see so much thoughtful, important work reflected and recognized among this year's nominees," says festival director John Cooper.

In a testament to Sundance's prowess in launching the highest-quality films, last year's crop nabbed 16 Oscar nominations Tuesday morning, including Call Me by Your Name and Get Out for best picture.

“Bold, independent stories will always find success on their own terms, but it’s heartening to see so much thoughtful, important work reflected and recognized among this year’s nominees — including, yes, several Sundance alumni across categories,” said festival director John Cooper, who celebrated the news while deep in the weeds of the 2018 incarnation, which runs through Jan. 28.

In addition to landing best picture nominations, Call Me by Your Name landed mentions for lead actor (Timothee Chalamet), adapted screenplay (James Ivory) and original song (Sufjan Stevens' "The Mystery of Love"). Get Out, which began its theatrical run as last year's Sundance sneak screening, nabbed nominations in the categories of director (Jordan Peele), lead actor (Daniel Kaluuya) and original screenplay (Peele).

Last year's two biggest Sundance market sales — Mudbound and The Big Sick (bought by Netflix and Amazon, respectively) — also made a nice showing with the Academy. Mudbound's Mary J. Blige scored a supporting actress nomination alongside the film's writers, Dee Rees and Virgil Williams, in the adapted screenplay category; Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson were nominated for the original song "Mighty River"; and cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history as the first female cinematographer ever to be recognized. The Big Sick's husband-and-wife writing team, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani ,received an original screenplay nomination.

Last year's Sundance documentary field was so strong that it accounted for three-fifths of today's feature documentary race, with IcarusStrong Island and Last Men in Aleppo all landing nominations.

This year's 16 Oscar nominations for Sundance films eclipses 2017's, when 11 scored mentions, including seven for Manchester by the Sea. However, this year's showing is three shy of Sundance's all-time high, per its archives, for the 2009 festival/2010 Oscars with 19 nominations, led Precious.

Looking ahead to 2019, there is certain to be plenty from this year's pack who will hear their names called on Oscar nominees' morning. Though this year's festival is only halfway through and reviews are still trickling in, highlights so far include Keira Knightley's performance in Colette.

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