Sundance Day Two Recap With a Look at Day Three

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Posted by Larry Gleeson

PARK CITY, UT (January 21, 2022) – Sundance Film Festival welcomed audiences to an action-packed second day of premiere screenings and conversations featuring some of the most notable visionaries in independent film, new media, and culture at large, including John Boyega, Elizabeth Banks, Regina Hall, Sigourney Weaver, Abi Damaris Corbin, Phyllis Nagy, Connie Britton, Colin Farrell, Hayley Lu Richardson, Wuumi Mosaku, Zoe Renee, Mariama Diallo, Chlose Okuno, Kogonada, and more.

Out of the gate, John Boyega shed light on his earnest portrayal of Brian Brown-Easley, a real-life Marine veteran impacted by PTSD in the 892 film panel; Phyllis Nagy discussed the importance of recognizing the humanity of women in the fight for reproductive rights alongside Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Wuumi Mosaku, and Grace Edwards in support of their film, Call Jane. Finally, the evening left off with  Master Director, Mariama Diallo in conversation with her cast, Regina Hall and Zoe Renee, about racist underpinnings in the Ivy League system.

Each year, Sundance serves as a cultural launchpad, helping to expand audience horizons through film and the conversations that occur the minute that credits roll. Continuing to foster this spirit of discussion into 2022, Sundance Film Festival programs a series of panels across discipline and topics to keep the conversation going.

DAY TWO HIGHLIGHTS

FILM Q&As 
    • 892 Panel

      • JOHN BOYEGA (Actor) on portraying Brian Brown-Easley, a Marine veteran impacted by PTSD: “We knew that PTSD would obviously be the main focus in formulating this character and that’s something me and Abi fine-tuned and worked out in general about the state of people who go out and protect our country who end up being in a situation, or circumstance, in which their mind can’t function well. Especially when they’re forced back into a world with no support. That was definitely a part of the process of building this character.”
      • ABI DAMARIS CORBIN (Director, Co-writer) on portraying issues with the Veterans Administration and bringing about change in this space: “Well, I grew up in a home with a dad who’s a vet, so I know this pretty intimately. We wanted to be honest about the situation and tell the story well. Our hope is that folks who just watched this film will think about it, will look at their neighbor and say ‘how you can do right by them,’ like Brian [the true subject of the film] says in the bathroom. We hope it gets in your soul. That it’s not something you leave behind after you watch it today. Beyond that, we’re partnering with several organizations who are involved with this but really that’s what we want you to take away.”

 

  • Call Jane Panel 

    • PHYLLIS NAGY (Director) on the importance of showcasing the genesis of the Janes on film: “We should all be in conversation with each other. We should be having an inter-generational conversation, an intersectional conversation – these things are extremely necessary in order for our cherished right to choose not to disappear entirely.”
    • ELIZABETH BANKS (Actor) on choosing this project to discuss abortion rights: “I really thought this was an opportunity for us to shine a light on that activism and more importantly, the camaraderie, of the women involved. [We] celebrate the women who came together to solve and to evolve and to help each other. If we could really build empathy for this woman and this character, we could speak to the audience about larger issues.”
    • ELIZABETH BANKS(Actor) on why she hopes Call Jane will speak to men most: “I hope more men join the conversation, generally. I find that in all of my experience, that unwanted pregnancy is 100% the cause of irresponsible ejaculation. Men are responsible, let’s get them more involved. This movie is a reminder that these women had to get together to solve something that they didn’t do…. This film is a joyful representation of women working together, but there’s some really supportive men in the film as well, and I love that about the relationships we have in the movie and what that says about where we could go with this conversation.”
    • WUUMI MOSAKU (Actor) on the pervasive hurdle historically facing Women of Color’s right to choose: “The thing is, it’s capitalism at the heart of it. It’s about money in the end, right? Can you afford it? And now, that just cuts out a whole chunk of people who just can’t afford it, and does that now mean that we believe that they don’t deserve what we’re trying to give? I don’t know – I feel like it’s a really important question  that sometimes gets missed out in a lot of feminist conversation: How inclusive are we being? How helpful are we being? Do we all care about the same things – are we all fearful of the same things? And do I value your fears, as much as I value mine?”
    • WUUMI MOSAKU (Actor) spoke on the bracing reality of what happens when abortion access is stripped from women: “What really struck me when I read the film for the first time, was that making abortion illegal isn’t going to stop abortions from happening. What we’re gonna do is make people very vulnerable. You’re just making it not safe. If someone wants an abortion they will get it. So why take away their dignity, their safety by making it illegal? It’s still going to happen. And so, I just really want people to know that, and understand that, and have empathy. Think of that person, that is doing something that they don’t want to do – no one wants to – be in this situation. If you’re considering an abortion, it’s not easy. So, give them grace by leaving them alone and letting them do it safely. Because it’s not going to stop, it’s just going to become dangerous. Again.”
    • SIGOURNEY WEAVER (Actor) on her major takeaway as a part of this film, reliving history: “When Roe v. Wade was passed, three of the judges passed it were Nixon’s conservative judges. But they understood that the right of a woman to decide for herself whether to bear a child was fundamental to her dignity and to her person and to her freedom and to her health. And it just was such a wake up call to me when I read that because it is an issue that has been so politicized, and this film will take you back into that experience. And so beautifully shows that it’s just about women, and in this case – women rescuing other women from hopelessness and danger, frankly. And having lived through that time, believe me we do not want to go back to that.”
    • SIGOURNEY WEAVER (Actor) on what she hopes audiences take away from this film: “Remind people that there’s a life at stake that’s walking, breathing, and trying to make the best decision she can. It’s important to respect these choices. You may not agree with them personally, and that’s your choice. It’s about Pro-choice. So, I hope that we can engage the younger generation who’ve always had this, and they may have taken it for granted, and put the focus back on the woman herself.”

 

  • Master Panel

    • MARIAMA DIALLO (Director) announced that Master will make its debut on Amazon in March.
    • REGINA HALL (Actor) on the dedication of the movie to her mother: “My mother, who passed away, had joined us during filming.  It was wonderful that Mariama and the producers dedicated it to her. She would have loved the film, even though she was terrified of horror movies. She impacted me profoundly.”
    • ZOE RENEE (Actor) on the world that director Mariama created on-set:  “She created a world that was painful to jump into, but once you were in it, it’s impossible not to react to your surroundings. A lot of our actors were all white and in a position of trying to create a feeling of isolation. Mariama asked us to be honest about the situation we were being put into to make sure the looks and movements felt real and vulnerable.  It was a painful process and watching it back made it worth it.”
    • MARIAMA DIALLO (Director) on whether the concept of “masters at Yale” are real: “It’s not there anymore, but while I was a student I came in and was assigned a master. The way they induct you into this system was done so slickly I barely flinched or noticed. As they were ushering us through the gates they said the term as if it were second nature that it’s done in a way you don’t even realize you’re being put into the experience. I had accepted someone into my life with this title and I didn’t know why I hadn’t woken up sooner. It didn’t come to me until I saw him on the streets and I called out by the title as second nature and it became weird right away. I could tell from the look on his face he knew it wasn’t right.  I had been told it was okay and had accepted it.”

CINEMA CAFÉ

    • KAREN GILLAN & EMMA THOMPSON | 1:00PM ET // 11:00AM MT // 10:00AM PT
      • Karen Gillan (Actress, Dual) and Emma Thompson (Actress, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande). Moderated by Shirley Li (The Atlantic)

  • A HIGHLIGHT OF FILM PREMIERES AND POST Q&As:

    • Nanny | 3:28 PM ET // 1:28 PM MT //12:28 PM PT
      • Nikyatu Jusu (Director); Anna Diop (Actor), Michelle Monaghan  (Actor), Leslie Uggams  (Actor)
    • We Need To Talk About Cosby | 4:00 PM ET // 2:00 PM MT//1:00 PM PT
      • W. Kamau Bell (Director)
    • BRAINWASHED: Sex-Camera-Power | 4:06 PM ET // 2:06 PM MT// 1:06 PM PT
      • Nina Menkes (Director/Producer), Maria Giese (Co-Producer). Joey Soloway (Subject), Cecily Rhett (Editor)
    • Jihad Rehab | 7:42 PM ET //5:42 PM MT// 4:42 PM PT
      • Meg Smaker (Director), Mohammed Aabas (Executive Producer)
    • Good Luck to You, Leo Grande | 6:43 PM ET // 4:43 PM MT // 3:43 PM PT
      • Sophie Hyde (Director), Emma Thompson (Actor), Daryl McCormack (Actor), Katy Brand (Screenwriter)
    • Summering | 8:33 PM ET // 6:33 PM MT // 5:33 PM PT
      • James Ponsoldt (Director)
    • Dual | 9:40 PM ET // 7:40 PM MT// 6:40 PM PT
      • Riley Stearns (Director), Karen Gillian (Actor), Aaron Paul (Actor), and Beulah Koale (Actor)
    • Sharp Stick | 10:01 PM ET // 8:01 PM MT // 7:01 PM PT
      • Lena Dunham (Director/Actor), Kristine Froseth (Actor), Jon Bernthal (Actor), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Actor), Taylour Paige (Actor), Scott Speedman (Actor), Luka Sabbat (Actor)
    • Resurrection | 11:48 PM ET // 9:48 PM MT // 8:48 PM PT
      • Andrew Semans (Director)
    • Lucy and Desi | 12:48 AM ET //10:48 PM MT // 9:48 PM PT
      • Amy Poehler (Director), Lucy Arnaz (Subject)

 

  • THE BIG CONVERSATION

 

 

 

 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

The Festival takes place digitally via our enhanced online platform at Festival.Sundance.org, on the New Frontier Spaceship, a bespoke immersive platform allowing festival-goers to gather virtually, and in-person at seven Satellite Screens venues around the country during the Festival’s second weekend. Additional programming includes a daily talk show (“How to Fest: Daily”), and Satellite Screen conversations as well as partner offerings in the Festival Village. To note, all talks are available online via live stream or posted later on festival.sundance.org to view globally. Sign up for an account at festival.sundance.org to access online. All times are U.S. Mountain Time.  Tickets are on sale.

ABOUT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Flee, CODA, Passing, Summer Of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On The Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs and sex, lies, and videotape.

The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute. 2022 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, AMC+, Chase Sapphire, Adobe; Leadership Sponsors – Amazon Studios, DIRECTV, DoorDash, Dropbox, Netflix, Omnicom Group, WarnerMedia, XRM Media; Sustaining Sponsors – Aflac, Audible, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Dell Technologies, IMDbPro, Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, Rabbit Hole Bourbon & Rye, Unity Technologies, University of Utah Health, White Claw Hard Seltzer; Media Sponsors – The Atlantic, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Shadow and Act, Variety, Vulture. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Visit sundance.org/festival for more.

(Press release provided by Sundance Press Office)