The movie world's Twitterati have been writing endlessly about one thing since last Thursday afternoon: the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and for good reason. Taking place every January for 36 years, Sundance, with acting icon Robert Redford serving as its chairperson, annually begins the year by unveiling the next wave of independent cinema, both starring recognizable actors and wholly made by first-timers and unknowns. And because of that, the industry's top producers and distributors flock to Park City, Utah, every year to be the first people to see who and what has next.

So far, this year's edition of Sundance, which wraps up on Sunday, has insiders buzzing about several up-and-comers. Miles Teller, a 2013 Sundance standout thanks to The Spectacular Now, received unanimous praise for his leading turn in the edgy, music-driven drama Whiplash; You're Next director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett are making genre heads giddy with their '80s-minded action throwback The Guest, starring Downton Abbey alum Dan Stevens; funnywoman Jenny Slate has established herself as a leading lady with the abortion comedy (seriously) Obvious Child; and Elijah Wood's new second career as a producer is off to a great start thanks to the successful premiere of the horror-comedy Cooties.

Expect plenty more actors, writers, and directors to dominate Twitter conversations and film reporters' round-ups by next Monday morning. The lucky few who exit Park City as Hollywood's newest buzz-earners will then hope to eventually join the ranks of these 15 careers that were made at the Sundance Film Festival.

Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)

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