Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


It’s a classic tale of the Old West: Samuel Alabaster is a man searching for his true love. Parson Henry is another, much drunker man, searching for a new start. Penelope is a woman who has found her own path. And Rufus Cornell is just a mean bastard with a taste for buckskin. There’s rotgut, rawhide, rootin’, tootin’, and hootin’. Plus, a little tiny horse.

Damsel finds Sundance Film Festival stalwarts David and Nathan Zellner (Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter) reinventing a dusty genre and wearing many hats, several of which are quite silly. The brothers write, produce, and direct the film, while also starring alongside Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Forster. The Zellners’ off-kilter enthusiasm must be infectious, as the whole cast joyfully embraces the loopy rhythms and bonkers logic of this unfamiliar frontier.

So saddle up and prepare to git along—just don’t be surprised if you end up somewheres you never expected.

— J.K.

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]