LOS ANGELES - The Sundance Film Festival has an apparent record lineup of female directors competing for its top honor this January.
Half the entries - eight of the 16 films - announced Wednesday in the festival's U.S. dramatic competition were directed by women for the next installment of Robert Redford's independent-cinema showcase, which runs Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah.
Going back to 1992, the best showing previously for female filmmakers was in 2000, when six of the 16 U.S. dramatic contenders were directed by women.
Sundance organizers were still trolling back to the early years of the festival's 33-year history, but this January's eight competition films appears to be most ever from women and the first time the entries have been evenly split between female and male directors.
Among the competition films from female filmmakers are Francesca Gregorini's "Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes," whose cast includes Jessica Biel and Frances O'Connor in the story of a troubled girl fixated on a mysterious neighbor; Lynn Shelton's "Touchy Feely," featuring Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney and Ellen Page in a tale of a massage therapist who develops a distaste for bodily contact; and Liz W. Garcia's "The Lifeguard," with Kristen Bell as a reporter who moves home to Connecticut and takes a job as a lifeguard.