Sundance 2021 Day 3 Recap


Posted by Larry Gleeson

What a great way to start the day at Sundance with the Sundance Dailies, a guided tour through the festival’s myriad of happenings taking place live each morning with host Tabitha Jackson, special correspondent John Cooper, and a delicious assortment of special guests. Today’s guests included filmmakers Rebecca Hall (Passing), Eugenio Derbez (CODA), and Associate Programmer Stephanie Owens, as special guests for Breakfast with….. Festival Director Jackson. Derbez showcased his cooking skills as well.

CODA Filmmaker Eugenio Derbez shares his breakfast culinary skills as part of the Sundance Dailies at the Sundance Film Festival on January 30th, 2021.

Just when I thought It couldn’t get much better, Jessica Beshir’s meditative Faya Dayi mesmerized my sensibilities up into another realm. The cinematography, the sound design, and the narrative spellbind and transported time and space as Beshir visits her homeland of Ethiopia to reconnect. What emerges is a poetic dreamscape crossing boundaries between narrative and mythological.

Faya Dayi

Not to be outdone, Rebecca Hall presented her first feature-length directorial effort with Passing starring Ruth Negga, Tessa Thompson, and Andre Holland. Based on a 1929 novel, Passing, by Nella Larsen, the film follows two Black childhood friends who haven’t crossed paths in twelve years and who live on opposite sides of the racial divide between black and white. Passing moves mountains.


Carey Williams  R#J, featuring a Star-quality cast with Francesca Noel, Diego Tinoco, Camaron Engels, and Siddiq Saunderson, continues the social commentary thread with a re-telling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in the present time with a focus on social media and the ever-present “live” function. Williams delivers a powerful message with a twist at the end. This is Williams’ Sundance follow-up to his Special Jury Award for Emergency, his 2018 short film. Herculean effort. Definitely check it out!


Check back tomorrow (screening time after publishing) for  Midnight Section selection  – A Glitch in the Matrix – exploring the scientific possibility of simulation theory as a symptom of twenty-first-century existential crises.

*Featured photo: Carey Williams, Director, R#J

9:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Sundance Dailies special guests Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein (How It Ends). Presented by Acura

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Cinema Café with Rebecca Hall and Robin Wright

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Artist Meetup: Artistic Process as a Form of Catharsis. Featuring Ciara Lacey in conversation with Adam Piron. Join and engage in conversation around technical and philosophical topics affecting the storytelling field.

3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Filmmakers often need legal advice about intellectual property – particularly fair use of archival materials, and releases from subjects and locations – as they craft their films. These issues may become especially confounding as filmmakers prepare applications for insurance or begin to answer questions from potential distributors.
While researching their projects, filmmakers may find critical information, such as body camera footage, 911 tapes, and other government records, through public records requests. Successfully navigating public records laws can help filmmakers obtain the records they need


4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Black speculative fiction and historiography, Afrofuturism, and utopian/dystopian visions speak to an enduring, evolving, and vibrant storytelling sensibility. They also speak to the many generations of Black artists whose practice and work—across music, cinema, literature, design, fashion, and other arts—re-envision the future. A group of artists reflects on storytelling forms that reframe Black experiences through imagined or alternative narratives connecting the people, technology, culture, and collective memory of the African diaspora. Presented by Netflix