MUBI Highlights the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022 Program

Plus, First Films First series returns to kickoff 2022, a Fellini double bill, newly restored films by Nouchka van Brakel, and New Voices in Georgian Cinema

MUBI, the global distributor and curated film streaming service, has revealed its lineup for January 2022 including premieres, double bills, and exclusive releases.

Prepare for the next Sundance Film Festival by revisiting breakouts such as the harrowing 2003 low-budget documentary Tarnation, Tom McCarthy’s The Visitor (featuring Richard Jenkins in an Oscar-nominated performance) and two seminal queer dark comedies: But I’m A Cheerleader starring Natasha Lyonne and Chuck & Buck, written by and starring Mike White (The White Lotus). 

New Voices in Georgian Cinema highlights recent work by some of the most exciting filmmakers in the world, including Tamar Shavgulidze (Comets), Dea Kulumbegashvili (Beginning, released earlier this year by MUBI) and Alexandre Koberidze, whose acclaimed What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? has been hailed as one of the best films of the year by Indiewire and Hyperallergic. Koberidize’s debut film (Let the Summer Never Come Again) and shorts are also included in the series. In addition, the feminist and socialist-tinged films from Dutch filmmaker Nouchka van Brakel round out January’s lineup: The Debut, A Woman Like Eve, and The Cool Lakes of Death, are all newly restored.

 A double bill from “Il Maestro” Federico Fellini offers two black and white masterpieces from the director’s long career: The breathtaking Nights of Cabiria and The White Sheik both feature standout performances from Fellini’s wife, the inimitable ​​Giulietta Masina. 

Finally, MUBI returns with a series kicking off the New Year by sharing the first films of notable directors. From Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming to Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky to Janicza Bravo’s Lemon, this selection is a cinematic toast to 2022.

Additional highlights from the January lineup are as follows:

 Exclusive streaming premieres from the most prestigious international film festivals and rediscovered classics selected by MUBI’s curators


[The New Auteurs] In the Georgian riverside city of Kutaisi, summertime romance and World Cup fever are in the air. After a pair of chance encounters, pharmacist Lisa and soccer player Giorgi find their plans for a date undone when they both awaken magically transformed — with no way to recognize or contact each other. As the would-be couple tries to reunite, their eyes are opened to a whole new world filled with surprises in every cafe, courtyard, and cinema. An enchantingly inventive portrait of young love en plein air, What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? [Berlinale ’21] reveals a modern-day fairy tale unlike any other. This standout second feature from director Alexandre Koberidze is poised to become a breakthrough film in the burgeoning Georgian New Wave and marks the arrival of a major new voice in world cinema. Voted one of the 10 best international films of 2021 by the Indiewire Critics’ Poll. A MUBI release.

What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? – January 7

[MUBI Spotlight] To add to MUBI’s spotlight on Sundance, Alex Camilleri’s striking neorealist debut Luzzu premiered at the festival in 2021 as a clear standout. The film follows Jesmark, a struggling fisherman on the island of Malta, forced to turn his back on generations of tradition and risk everything by entering the world of black market fishing to provide for his girlfriend and newborn baby. Academy Award submission for Best International Film (Malta).

Luzzu – January 14

[Viewfinder] As part of New Voices in Georgian cinema, Taming the Garden by Salomé Jashi, follows a former prime minister who develops a uniquely bizarre hobby of collecting trees along the country’s coastline. Most remarkably, this is a documentary, and the visual sweep and how-can-this-be-real story must be seen to be believed.

Taming the Garden – January 19

The Dog Who Would Be Quiet

[The New Auteurs] Sebastian moves fitfully through adulthood, navigating love, loss and fatherhood, until the world is rocked by a sudden catastrophe, upending his already turbulent life. Photographed in stark black-and-white imagery, and awash in ruminative metaphor, writer-director Ana Katz’s The Dog Who Would Be Quiet (Sundance ’21) captures Sebastian’s midlife coming of age in slices of life both specific and universal. Named one of the best films of 2021 by Amy Taubin in Artforum.

The Dog Would Would Be Quiet – January 21 

[MUBI Spotlight] A film that must be seen to be believed, Whirlybird follows partners Marika Gerrard and Zoey Tur who reported the news from a helicopter swirling above Los Angeles, including the 1992 riots and O.J. Simpson’s attempted escape from authorities. As part of Spotlight on Sundance, this film shows how the insatiable desire for breaking news, documented from a birds-eye view, can only happen in L.A., or rather, America.

Whirlybird – January 22 

[Undiscovered] Based on video recordings from the American and the French armed forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, There Will Be No More Light (Rotterdam ’21) is a haunting essay film in the tradition of Chris Marker and Haroun Farocki. Recontextualizing images of propaganda, the film’s indelible point might be: how much can you actually see when you’re in the pilot’s seat of an empire?

There Will Be No More Light – January 25

In Nino Martínez Sosa’s striking debut feature, Liborio (Rotterdam ’21), a farmer who vanished a hundred years ago returns as a spiritual guide and political firebrand, yet grounded like a folk hero. Using a fractured narrative structure, Sosa’s wide-eyed view of an entire village’s perspectives centers a shared history that feels radical and groundbreaking.

Liborio – January 26

[Brief Encounters] A standout at Rotterdam in 2021, where it won the Tiger Award for best short film, Maat Means Land is a wildly fresh, inventive, and provocative collage film, highlighting contemporary Indigenous identity, culture and experience.

Maat Means Land – January 27 

Feels Good Man

[MUBI Spotlight] The trajectory of Pepe the Frog, once an innocuous feel-good comic that was co-opted by the fascist right and turned into a ubiquitous meme, is chronicled in Feels Good Man. Arguably one of the most essential documentaries of our time, it lays out in striking and human ways how we got here.

Feels Good Man – January 28 

[Festival Focus: Rotterdam] This Tunisian noir plays like A Promising Young Woman meets Abel Ferrara’s atmospheric ’90s films. At night in Tunis, Nada goes out on dates with men, which end with her punishing them for their indiscretions. Soon, the punishments get out of hand and Nada struggles to balance her nocturnal secrets with her daytime identity. A remarkably stylish art house and genre hybrid announcing the exciting new talents of debut directors Ismaël and Youssef Chebbi.

Black Medusa – January 31

First Films First

They begin 2022 as they have in previous years: highlighting some of the most distinctive feature film debuts. Films by Noah Baumbach (Kicking & Screaming), Zola director Janicza Bravo (Lemon), Garett Bradley (Below Dreams), Lucile Hadžihalilović (La bouche de Jean-Pierre), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Bye Bye Africa), Alexandre Koberidze (Let the Summer Never Come Again), Radu Jude (The Happiest Girl in the World), and Terry Gilliam (Jabberwocky) are some of the most prime examples of singular artistic voices emerging almost immediately. Keep an eye out for Haroun’s Lingui, The Sacred Bonds opening theatrically by MUBI on February 4 and Koberidze’s What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? launching January 7.

Kicking and Screaming – January 1
Lemon – January 2 
Below Dreams – January 3 
La bouche de Jean-Pierre – January 4 
Bye Bye Africa – January 5 
Let the Summer Never Come Again – January 6 
The Happiest Girl in the World – January 8 
Jabberwocky – January 9 

New Voices in Georgian Cinema

An array of young filmmakers in Georgia encompasses what can best be described as a New Wave, much like the French in the 1960s and Romanian in the 2000s. Timed to the release of MUBI’s What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?, they look at Alexandre Koberidze’s previous film Let the Summer Never Come Again and Tamar Shavgulidze’s Comets as prime examples of the amazing talent emerging from Georgia.

Let the Summer Never Come Again – January 6
What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? – January 7
Comets – January 18 
Now available: 
Linger on Some Pale Blue Dot
The Dazzling Light of Sunset

A Place of Her Own: Three by Nouchka van Brakel

Raised by socialist artists in Denmark, and serving as Assistant Director on Paul Verhoeven’s Turkish Delight, feminist filmmaker Nouchka van Brakel faced an uphill battle to get her work screened and distributed in the United States and beyond. We’re celebrating van Brakel with a trio of her most enduring films: The Debut, A Woman Like Eve, and The Cool Lakes of Death, all beautifully restored.

The Debut – January 10
A Woman Like Eve – January 11
The Cool Lakes of Death – January 12 

Double Bill: Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini needs no introduction, but the films presented here–Nights of Cabiria, one of his masterpieces, and The White Sheik–are begging to be seen (or re-watched) if you haven’t had the chance. On the occasion of his centennial in 2020, much of Fellini’s work has been restored, including these films, allowing a new generation to experience the work of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. 

Nights of Cabiria – January 15
The White Sheik – January 16

Festival Focus: Sundance

But I’m a Cheerleader

The Sundance Film Festival turns 44 this year, and while you can experience some of the most vibrant new voices in cinema starting January 20, they look back at some of the most iconic films that debuted in Park City in years passed. Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette), But I’m a Cheerleader (Jamie Babbit), Gook (Justin Chon), Chuck & Buck (Miguel Arteta), and The Visitor (Thomas McCarthy) are just a fraction of breakouts from one of the most influential film festivals in the world, and well worth revisiting in anticipation of a new batch of films this year.

Luzzu – January 14
Taming the Garden – January 19 
Tarnation – January 20 
Whirlybird – January 22 
But I’m a Cheerleader – January 23 
Gook – January 24
Chuck & Buck – January 29 
Feels Good Man – January 28 
The Visitor – January 30