Each year, countless films premiere at festivals across the world. Filmmakers are celebrated for their artistic vision. Projects are praised for their ability to push the boundaries of what we expect from national cinemas. Then, just as quickly as these films burst on the scene, many disappear from the public eye. Some fall through the cracks of distribution. Others are snapped up by discriminating studios but languish in the vault as executives work to puzzle out the perfect date and platform for their release.

READ MORE: 52 Films Directed By Women To Watch In 2020

Ah, but we remember. Our hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of reviews each year include plenty of films whose moments in the spotlight have yet to come, and we make it a point of pride to remember these movies and point you in their direction when they finally secure distribution. As we’ve done in the past, this year, we put together a list of the 25 best festival titles that seem destined for theatrical or streaming distribution in 2020. Given the diversity of tastes and perspectives our writers bring to the table, some of these titles may be less obvious than others, but we promise that each of these films is only months away from finding its forever audience.

READ MORE: The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2020

More best of year and decade content is here too, the 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2020The 100 Best Films Of The Decade, the 25 Best Films Of 2019, the 25 Best Films Of 2019 You Didn’t See52 Films Directed By Women To Watch In 2020, the Best Performances Of The DecadeBest Cinematography of the DecadeBest Soundtracks of the DecadeBest TV of the DecadeBest Documentaries Of The DecadeBest Animated Films Of The DecadeBest TV of 2019Best Posters, and Trailers of 2019 and more to come.

READ MORE: The Best Documentaries Of The Decade [2010s]

And the Birds Rained Down
Director: Louise Archambault
Cast: Andrée Lachapelle
Gilbert Sicotte, and Rémy Girard
 A group of elderly recluses has their life turned upside down when a historian ventures into their community with questions about a half-forgotten local fire.
Why You Should See It: Based on the French-language Canadian novel of the same name, “And the Birds Rained Down” transcends the usual familiarity of slow-moving arthouse cinema by capturing characters near the end – not the beginning – of their lives. It is a credit to both the source material and the filmmaker that the film is able to move without urgency and still convey a deliberate hand behind every stolen moment. “Archambault manages to thread the needle,” wrote our own Warren Cantrell, “and a thoughtful analysis of history and personal agency remains.”
Our Review:  A- (Toronto International Film Festival)
Release Information: No release information is available at this time.

The Assistant
Director Kitty Green
Cast: Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Makenzie Leigh, Kristine Froseth
A searing look at a day in the life of an assistant to a powerful executive. As an assistant follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the insidious abuse that threatens every aspect of her position.
Why You Should See It: The Harvey Weinstein story as told through the eye of a lowly assistant who sees all, director Kitty Green’s lacerating drama may not mention Weinstein or the complicit Weinstein Company by name, nor does it ever even show the hulking Weinstein character other than in passing—but the oppressive presence of the character and all the damage he caused to countless lives is impossible to ignore. Julia Garner is outstanding in the role that gives agency to the usually forgotten and ignored and sidesteps the monster in the room without ever forgetting his many abuses. “’The Assistant’ feels like a moment of change,” our review wrote from Telluride and that’s more than good enough for us.
Our Review:  B (Telluride Film Festival)
Release Information: Bleecker Street Films releases the film January 31. – Rodrigo Perez

Director: Shannon Murphy
Cast: Eliza Scanlen
, Ben Mendelsohn, and Essie Davis
 After receiving a cancer diagnosis, a teenage girl sparks up a romance with a petty thief, much to the exasperation of her well-meaning parents.
Why You Should See It: It’s a sad fact that nearly four out of ten people will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. For many families, cancer is not some narrative crucible to milk, but rather, a quiet tragedy that befalls the loved and unloved alike. “Babyteeth” falls decidedly in the latter camp. While the movie may aim to tug on the heartstrings at times, what resonated most for our Christina Newland was its lack of forced sentiment and how it successfully tells an “imperfect but devastating story about doing our best with the cards we are dealt.”
Our Review:  B+ (Venice Film Festival)
Release Information: No release information is available at this time.

Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles
Cast: Sônia Braga, Udo Kier, Bárbara Colen, Karine Teles
 After the death of her grandmother, Teresa comes home to her matriarchal village in a near-future Brazil to find a succession of sinister events that mobilizes all of its residents.
Why You Should See It: Brazilian writer/director Kleber Mendonça Filho has been rising up the ranks of international auteurs you must watch. “Neighbouring Sounds,” (2013) his first feature-length drama was included in the New York Times 10 best films of 2012 and his follow-up, “Aquarius,” premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Not too shabby, for this third feature, a “nightjar,”  (a weird western film), teamed-up with co-director Juliano Dornelles and crafted something very much unlike his, formalist, detached movies, crafting something we said “flips the arthouse script with a sinister, John Carpenter-y blood-soaked adventure [vibe].” Sold!
Our Review:  B  (Cannes Film Festival)
Release Information: IFC Films is releasing the film on March 6, 2020. – RP

Bad Education
Director: Cory Finley
Cast: Hugh Jackman
, Allison Janney, Ray Romano, and Geraldine Viswanathan
 When a high school reporter starts poking into an expensive campus renovation, she discovers that the much-loved local superintendent is not quite the community pillar he pretends to be.
Why You Should See It: In 2006, the community of Roslyn, New York, was shocked to learn that local Superintendent Frank Tassone had been, ah, less than forthright with his allocation of school district funds. According to contemporary reports, Tassone and a group of over 20 co-conspirators stole $11.2 million from the school system. Inspired by his hometown scandal, Roslyn native Mike Makowsky and “Thoroughbreds” director Cory Finley – the latter in his sophomore feature – have combined to create what our own Charles Bramesco described as “perhaps the best work of [Hugh] Jackman’s career.”
Our Review:  B+ (Toronto International Film Festival)
Release Information: “Bad Education” was purchased by HBO in September and currently has no definite plans for a theatrical release.