Sundance is always an exciting time of the year. It kicks off a new season in Hollywood and signifies some of the big titles people should be aware of in the coming year.

It's also a great proving ground for new writers and directors to debut their hard work.

But after a tumultuous 2023, with strikes and slashed budgets, what will the marketplace look like this year?

Let's dive in.

Sundance 2024

Last year, one of the biggest stories we covered was the sale ofFair Play to Netflix for $20 million.

This year it will be interesting to keep an eye on his how studios spend in the post-strike world.

One of the knocks on Sundance recently was that it felt like a place where huge studios premiered their movies, when it used to be a festival about independent filmmaking.

Well, this year, many studio films were delayed due to the strikes. And independent movies made outside the system were able to get waivers and keep shooting.

So this may feel like the Sundances of old, with new voices and faces emerging.

The festival received a record number of submissions: 17,435, including 4,410 feature-length films.

What are some of the buzziest titles?

Presence, directed by Steven Soderbergh, is generating significant buzz as well A Real Pain, directed by Eisenberg, and Sasquatch Sunset by Davi and Nathan Zellner. There's also Love Me, starring Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun, as well as Sean Wang's Didi.

One fear that keeps popping up is that studios may want to spend less money after such a hard 2023.

Personally, I think that won't be the reality. Studios need movies to debut, and streamers need titles to put on their platforms. I'm not sure there will be a slow down. The more commercial movies will surely receive bids, just for places to capitalize.

Netflix is in the licensing business. They love buying movies that are already made and putting them on their platform. Places like Sundance are great for them to find hot titles with huge audience reactions and noisy ideas.

Still, we've seen some festivals (like Toronto last year) where nothing sold at all.

There's certainly some anxiety surrounding this market. Many people want it to be good not just for the filmmakers, but to feel like Hollywood is totally back after COVID and the collective strikes.

Worried for about the Sundance market, or think all the fear is simply just fear? Let me know what you think in the comments!

No Film School's coverage of Sundance 2024 is brought to you by Canon.