The 2016 Sundance Film Festival kicks off today, bringing independent filmmakers from around the world to Utah for some of the most highly anticipated screenings of the year. Here's a sampling of this year's slate of movies with cannabis connections.

1. The Fundamentals of Caring

Paul Rudd is best known for comedy roles like cocky reporter Brian Fantana in Anchorman and clueless pot smoker Ned in Our Idiot Brother (a role that he says was based on years of method acting). But he's showing his dramatic side at Sundance this month with The Fundamentals of Caregiving, which features Rudd playing a man with emotional paralysis teaming up for a road trip with an 18-year-old boy suffering from physical paralysis.

There isn't a trailer for the movie yet. So enjoy this classic clip of Paul Rudd on Conan:

2. 11.22.63

11.22.63 is a sci-fi thriller based on a novel of the same name by Stephen King. James Franco stars as a high school teacher presented with the chance to rewrite history by preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Sundance will be featuring the pilot of this HULU series that will premiere online on Feb. 15, 2016.

Despite being a close buddy of Seth Rogen, Franco doesn't smoke cannabis anymore (to Rogen's dismay). However, King is a supporter of legalization - especially in Maine. He's even called on growers to breed "Bangor Gold" as a signature strain for his home state.

3. Yoga Hosers

Kevin Smith - who developed a liking for cannabis from hanging out with Seth Rogen - rose to fame on the success of the Sundance hit Clerks, which won the festival's Filmmaker's Trophy in 1994.

This year, he returns with Yoga Hosers, starring Johnny Depp, his daughter Lily-Rose and Smith's daughter Harley Quinn. In this clip, Smith describes the film as "Clueless meets Gremlins."

4. United Shades of America

Along with movies and miniseries, Sundance will also premiere the new CNN original show United Shades of America, which is the brainchild of W. Kamau Bell - a political comedian and outspoken critic of American cannabis laws. The series features Bell traveling around America, exploring racial stereotypes. Sundance will screen an episode where Bell explores the Ku Klux Klan's attempts to update their PR tactics.

Here's Bell discussing his new series and the 2016 election on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:

5. Surprise...

We're saving the best for last. Check back with us on Friday for a special feature at Sundance.

h/t High Times, People, The Cannabist

banner image: Chris Dodson / Flickr