Acura Virtual Festival Village Brings the Independent Spirit of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival to Film Fans Everywhere

Posted by Larry Gleeson

  • Musical duo JOHNNYSWIM will perform daily at 
  • Acura’s virtual programming also includes collaborations with IMDb and HOW IT ENDS – the must-watch film from Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein
  • As a challenger brand committed to supporting emerging artists, Acura has partnered with auteur filmmaker Phillip Youmans to debut a :30 second spot

Acura’s role as Presenting Sponsor and Official Vehicle of the Sundance Film Festival takes on new meaning for 2021 by bringing the spirit of independent filmmakers to film fans everywhere. The Acura Festival Virtual Village ( offers the film community and fans the opportunity to tune in for filmmaker and talent interviews and daily musical performances from JOHNNYSWIM, as well as the chance to explore the all-new 2022 MDX SUV, the most premium, performance-focused, and technologically advanced SUV in Acura history.

For 11 years, Acura has maintained its commitment to supporting emerging artists and underrepresented voices in film that are lifted up by the Sundance Film Festival. This year, Acura has joined forces with 21-year-old auteur director and Sundance Institute 2020 Screenwriters Lab alumni Phillip Youmans to direct “Days in the Lab,” a new :30 spot that will play for audiences prior to select 2021 Sundance Film Festival screenings.

Recognized for his 2019 debut Burning Cane, Youmans captures the struggles many young filmmakers face during the creative process. Shot on Super 16mm film, the spot delivers an authentic and intimate journey of an independent filmmaker, inspired by Youmans’ own experience as a participant in the Sundance Labs.

“The filmmaking process is an emotional ride, but a gratifying one. With this piece for Acura, I wanted to follow the triumphs and tribulations of the creative process, something every artist can relate to,” said director Phillip Youmans. “Moreover, this piece stands for the idea that anyone can achieve their goals – no matter where you come from – with a little hard work and perseverance.”

“Acura, as a brand rooted in innovation, embraces new and creative ideas and we connect fully with the wonderful storytelling that Phillip captures in ‘Days in the Lab,’” said Jon Ikeda, Vice President and Acura Brand Officer. “Through our partnership with Phillip and Sundance Institute, Acura is proud to offer a platform for independent filmmakers and emerging artists to share their voices and showcase their creativity.”

The connection between Youmans and Acura was made by Sundance Institute as part of a program to help independent artists secure work and tell powerful stories that reflect the values and mission of Acura.

“Over the 11 years Acura has partnered with Sundance Institute, the brand has always been fiercely committed to supporting the independent spirit of filmmakers and the creative community,” added Mary Sadeghy, Head of Corporate Partnerships, Sundance Institute. “Phillip so beautifully brought to life the shared values of Acura and Sundance Institute through his story.”

During the 2021 Festival, Acura also will host a virtual premiere party for HOW IT ENDS, written, directed, and produced by Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones and starring Lister-Jones, Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Helen Hunt, Lamorne Morris, and Nick Kroll. Premiering on Friday, Jan. 29 at 3pm PST, the HOW IT ENDS cast and crew will be treated to pizza from local Los Angeles restaurant ALL TIME, safely delivered in the new 2022 MDX.

Additionally, Acura and IMDb will present exclusive video content from this year’s Festival, sharing interviews and clips with film enthusiasts around the world. Entertainment fans can access coverage on the IMDb homepage (

As the Official Vehicle partner of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Acura is pleased to spotlight the all-new 2022 Acura MDX. The fourth-generation MDX has been completely redesigned from the ground around Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance DNA to serve as the new flagship of the Acura brand. The 2022 MDX will begin arriving at Acura dealerships Feb. 2. More details on the 2022 MDX can be found at:

For more information on Acura and the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, visit

About Acura
Acura is a leading automotive nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a commitment to expressive styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability. The Acura lineup features five distinctive models – the ILX and TLX sport sedans, the RDX and MDX sport-utility vehicles and the next-generation, electrified NSX supercar. All Acura models sold in North America for the 2021 model year are made in the U.S., using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Additional media information including pricing, features & specifications and high-resolution photography is available at Consumer information is available at

JOHNNYSWIM—Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano—translate the memories, moments, and milestones on their journey as a married couple into spirited, slick, and soulful anthems steeped in singer-songwriter tradition, yet amplified by alternative experimentation, rock energy, and pop ambition. Building a fanbase through constant touring, 2013’s ​Heart Beats ​EP spawned “Don’t Let It Get You Down,” which clocked 17 million-plus Spotify streams. Their first full-length, ​Diamonds​, arrived in 2014 as its single “Home” famously became the theme to HGTV hit ​Fixer Upper.​ The 2016 follow-up ​Georgica Pond​ yielded another fan favorite “First Try” as the duo sold out dates around the world. Along the way, they garnered acclaim from ​Rolling Stone,​ ​NPR,​ ​The New York Times​, ​Huffington Post​, ​Nylon​,​ Du Jour​, and ​VH1​ in addition to performing on ​The Today Show​,​ CONAN,​ and more. Produced by GRAMMY​®​Award-winning powerhouse Malay [Frank Ocean, Sam Smith], the group’s 2019 third full-length, ​Moonlight [Britannia Row Recordings/BMG], shines a light on the strength of their bond, the scope of their musical palette, and spirit of their stories together.

About IMDb
IMDb is the world’s most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows and celebrities. Products and services to help fans decide what to watch and where to watch it include: the IMDb website for desktop and mobile devices; apps for iOS and Android; and X-Ray on Prime Video. IMDb also offers a free streaming channel, IMDb TV, and produces IMDb original video series and podcasts. For entertainment industry professionals, IMDb provides IMDbPro and Box Office Mojo. IMDb licenses information from its vast and authoritative database to third-party businesses worldwide; learn more at IMDb is an Amazon company. For more information, visit and follow @IMDb.

(Source: Acura News Release)

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