These Five Films Ruled Sundance 2016

From Japanese rock stars to historic slave revolts, audiences had plenty to rave about this year

Actor Nate Parker poses at the premiere of his new film "Non-Stop" in Los Angeles February 24, 2014. — (Reuters)
Jan 29, 2016 at 11:49 AM ET

After this year’s whitewashed Oscars nominees sparked an outcry, the world looked to Sundance to see if the festival could offer some much needed diversity. And, according to the most buzzed about films, it did.

A Vocativ analysis of more than 139,000 tweets with the hashtag #Sundance showed that audiences were drawn to an international and varied set of stories—from Japanese rock stars to historic slave revolts.

The documentary We Are X, about the iconic Japanese heavy metal band X Japan, was by far the most discussed flick. The movies hashtags made up a whopping 10 percent of tweets. Musician and songwriter Yoshiki was the week’s top mentioned star. Certain Women, a contemplative movie by director Kelly Reichardt, boasted both the week’s second most popular hashtag, #CertainWomen, and the most mentioned actress: Kristen Stewart. Although she doesn’t have a Twitter account, people posted the hashtag #KristenStewart in over 1,480 tweets, making her the fifth most popular celebrity at the festival. Nick Jonas was the second most discussed celebrity of the week. His role in the thriller Goat dives into the world of collegiate hazing. Jonas fans around the world tweeted their love for the singer turned actor.

But his movie itself got far less mentions than either Certain Women or Birth of A Nation, filmmaker Nate Parker’s biopic about Nat Turner and the 1831 slave rebellion, which received a standing ovation in the theater, and immediately received a Sundance-record $17.5 million deal from Fox Searchlight. Nate Parker’s official account was mentioned in more than 1,440 tweets.

Clerks director Kevin Smith returned to the director’s chair and made the fifth most popular movie of Sundance 2016: Yoga Hosers. The flick stars several teen heart throbs like Tyler Posey and Austin Butler, alongside Hollywood veteran Johnny Depp and his daughter Lily-Rose. With all that star power, it may come as no surprise that Yoga Hosers was the most popular comedy at the festival.

Congrats to the Yoga Hosers!!!!! #yogahosers #Sundance

A photo posted by tyler schnabel (@tylerschnabel) on

But with last year’s festival darlings, such as Dope and Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl failing to make a huge impact in theaters, the question is whether or not this year’s crop can turn buzz into box office success.