10. Filly Brown

Directors: Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos
Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Chrissie Fit, Lou Diamond Phillips, Resmine Atis, Baby Bash, Jorge Diaz, Noel Gugliemi
Release info: Seeking distribution

Why you should be excited: Everyone loves a good underdog story, and when the underdog is played by a gorgeous newcomer with solid MC skills? We’re liable to have a love jones. Well, at least for Gina Rodriguez, the fresh-faced star of Filly Brown, a seemingly conventional drama about a young Los Angeles gal who wants to become a chart-topping rapper in order to stack enough checks to get her mother out of jail.

Reviews out of Sundance so far have been mixed, with the more negative ones citing the film’s heavy-handed script and obvious narrative beats as its main deterrents. Yet, across the board, it’s been a love-fest for Miss Gina Rodriguez, a name we should get used to hearing, because whenever Filly Brown makes its theatrical debut, she might very well be the hip-hop community’s answer to Elizabeth Olsen.