Posted by Larry Gleeson
A very busy day at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Beginning with the first episode of the Sundance Dailies hosted by Festival Executive Director, Tabitha Jackson, in a morning show Entertainment Tonight televison format, with an appearance by Festival Programming Director, Kim Yutani, a brief rundown of some of the day’s events were highlighted. Yutani pointed out the diligence of the programming staff in seeking out hidden voices outside the United States and recommended the entire International Film offerings including documentaries, dramas, etc.
I caught Belgian Cinema offering Mother Schmuckers as part of the midnight section, One For the Road from Thailand, Luzzu, the first Malta film to screen at Sundance, Screen Australia’s Swimming with Sharks, and the riveting documentary, President, from Zimbabwe, and last but not least, the United States’ John and the Hole.
Other events highlighted during the Sundance Dailies included:
Cinema Café: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson & Shaka King | 10:30 a.m. MT
Talent: Directors Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)) and Shaka King (Judas and the Black Messiah), moderator Hannah Giorgis (Staff Writer, The Atlantic). A culture of conversation with featured guests and thought-provoking insights.
The Big Conversation: The Past Is Present: A Personal Journey Through Race, History and Filmmaking | 1:00p.m. MT
Talent: Filmmaker Raoul Peck and Tabitha Jackson (Sundance Film Festival Director). “History is not the past, it’s the present.” James Baldwin’s words reverberate throughout Raoul Peck’s work, his activism, and his remarkable filmmaking career. Peck joins Festival director Tabitha Jackson in a conversation about white supremacy, history, creative expression, and his personal journey from the Academy Award-nominated I Am Not Your Negro to his upcoming work Exterminate All the Brutes, which interrogates over 600 years of history— from the Native American genocide to the systemized enslavement of Africans, to Hitler’s extermination of the European Jews—a history to which our present is inextricably bound. Don’t miss this one!
Tomorrow will be another full day with Faya Dayi, Passing, R#J, and A Glitch in the Matrix scheduled. Also, be sure to check out another round of free event offerings. You’ll be glad you did! They are as follows:
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Artist Meetup: Positionality in the Editing Room. Featuring Carla Gutierrez and Malika Zouhali-Worrall in conversation with Carrie Lozano. Join up and engage in conversation around technical and philosophical topics affecting the storytelling field.
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. The Big Conversation: Barbed Wire Kisses Redux. The year 1992 was a watershed one for LGBTQ+ film, giving birth to the term “New Queer Cinema” and introducing a revolutionary generation of films and filmmakers with energetic irreverence and disruptive aesthetics. At the 1992 Sundance Film Festival, B. Ruby Rich convened and moderated a panel of preeminent artists (including the late Derek Jarman) to discuss their work and the historic moment of its emergence. This year, Rich and other LGBTQ+ titans including Andrew Ahn, Greg Araki, Silas Howard, Isaac Julien, and Rose Troche, gather 30 years later to look back and imagine forward in this contemporary edition of Barbed Wire Kisses.
10:00 – 11:30 p.m. Speakeasy: Conjuring the Collective – Womxn at Sundance promises an evening of dynamic performance and energizing conversation. Continuing the tradition of gathering and celebrating the womxn in the Festival community, this year’s event will reclaim the idea of a coven as a source of magic, healing, and power.