Sundance is all about discovering something new — the place where a single movie can turn a debt-ridden grad student into a bonafide indie auteur, or a relative unknown into a major star. Buzz is king in Park City's mountains and Main Street, and nobody who weathered the lines and snagged the coveted last seat at a world premiere is content with watching a good movie. They want to see a coronation.
And this year's festival was absolutely bursting with them, as a pop star emerged as a multi-faceted talent, a marginalized actor cast himself as Hollywood's next big thing, and a handful of wide-eyed kids became the new faces of indie film (or, in the case of Other People scene-stealer J.J. Totah, left a calling card to remember). These are the 12 breakout stars of Sundance 2016; learn their names, because it won't be long before you're hearing about them everywhere.