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Celebrating National Lottery supported films at Sundance 2022

20th January 2022

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival begins today, running from 20-30 January, with seven incredible National Lottery supported films being premiered. Discover our top four film highlights being featured at this year’s festival, thanks to National Lottery players.

Through the BFI, we're proud to support feature films, documentaries and short films made by diverse creative voices. Discover an array of ground-breaking National Lottery supported films that will feature at Sundance 2022 from today.

Our Top Four Film Picks...

A men standing next to a manakin in someone's kitchen.
'Brian and Charles' directed by Jim Archer


Brian and Charles is an endearing story of friendship, love and letting go. And a 7-foot tall robot that eats cabbage…

Brian lives alone in a Welsh valley, inventing contraptions that seldom work. But, after finding a discarded mannequin head, he invents Charles- an artificially intelligent robot who learns English from a dictionary and proves a charming, cheeky companion.

The world premier of Brian and Charles will happen on Sunday 23 January. More information about the film here.

Two men cartoon playing a board game
'Child of Empire' directed by Sparh Ahuja


Child of Empire is an animated virtual reality (VR) docu-drama experience which immerses viewers in one of the largest forced migrations in human history: the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan.

The film follows two men from the Partition generation — Ishar Das Arora, an Indian Hindu who migrated from Pakistan to India, and Iqbal-ud-din Ahmed, a Pakistani Muslim who made the opposite journey, as they share childhood memories of their experiences while playing a board game.

Child of Empire premiers on Thursday 20 January. More information about the film here.

A girl watching a simulacrum of a nuclear threat.
On The Morning you Wake Up (To the End of The World) directed by Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio


On The Morning You Wake Up (To The End of The World) is part one of a powerful three-part virtual reality project which explores the risks and consequences of a world held hostage by nuclear weapons.

This first chapter allows audiences to experience the alarming events of January 13, 2018, when the entire population of Hawai‘i received a startling text message from the state Emergency Management Agency. As cellular communication networks collapsed and panic took hold of the population, 1.4 million people — as well as their friends and relatives across the globe — came to understand the real, growing, and urgent nature of today’s nuclear threat.

On The Morning You Wake Up (To The End of the World) premiers on Thursday 20 January. More information about the film here.

Three woman in an African hair salon
'Precious Hair and Beauty' directed by John Ogunmuyiwa


Short film Precious Hair & Beauty is an ode to the mundanity and madness of the high street, told through the window of an African hair salon.

Created by award-winning, Nigerian-born, London-bred filmmaker John Ogunmuyiwa, who works in both documentary and fiction. His work draws upon a constant questioning of what it means to be normal. Using daily observations as a base, he tends to bring a tinge of surrealism into his work, all with the aim of telling untold stories from a different perspective.

Precious Hair & Beauty premiers on Thursday 20 January. More information about the film here.

And don't miss Nothing Compares, Prayers for Sweet Waters, and Egungun - the other fantastic National Lottery funded films on the programme this year.

An African woman with a sunset in the background.
'Egungun' directed by Olive Nwosu