Category Archives: Sundance


Posted by Larry Gleeson


Park City, UT January 16, 2019 – For the festival opening weekend in Park City, Utah, veteran special events producer Imagine Events and its sponsor partners led by Airthereum will turn two locations—the former Rock & Reilly’s and parts of Park City Live at 427 Main Street—into two of the hottest destinations in Park City as they host the wildly ambitious inaugural “Fly Lounge” film, technology, wellness and finance programs.

By day, The Fly Lounge, owned and produced by Imagine Events, is a pop-up hospitality haven with an expansive program of panels, technology demos, workshops, experiences and gifting programmed inside and adjacent to the sprawling Park City Live Complex on Main Street. By night, the venues are transformed to accommodate private screenings, celebrity-studded events, film premiere parties, and live performances for official festival selections.

“We’re delighted to return to Park City to support independent film,” says Imagine Events’ Amanda Pool, whose team has a collective 26+ years experience hosting branded events in Park City. “This year’s Park City ventures combine our production, filmmaker, talent, health and wellness, and technology brand partners to bring a world-class event experience to a world-class resort city. We thank our key sponsors for supporting the program and making the events possible.”

The daytime program unfolds each day at two venues at 427 Main:

LA’s hottest beauty boutique and nationally recognized brand GBY Beauty ( will offer their exclusive Active Lash lash extension treatment and Swarovski “Tooth Gems”; yes, guests can actually bedazzle their teeth at Fly Lounge. Hip hop brand Rich and Ruthless will be sampling VIP guests with gear ( Guests can also enjoy a full-service smoothie, fresh juice and vegan Bloody Mary bar, while Crater Lake Spirits will be sampling Crater Lake Whiskey and other adult beverages (

TRIPP will provide guests demos of their immersive VR technology for health and wellness ( Feeling low? If guests have the nerve, they can even get an IV recharge to prepare them for the night.

  • Nearby, The Fly Lounge Technology Center is equipped with the cutting-edge immersive technology experiences in AR, VR, AI, blockchain and more. The Fly Lounge Tech Center pairs experiential education in multiple technology media, daytime panels and a hosted brunch, daily. The venue’s demo room provides nonstop experiences showcasing the newest content in 360 VR and AR that demonstrates how filmmakers can use the technology to enhance their storytelling. The Wild Immersion, endorsed by Jane Goodall, will reveal the world’s first “virtual reserve,” which uses VR to share an unrivaled 360-degree journey into nature’s majestic territories. It’s presented in conjunction with the Blue Mind Fund, a non-profit starting a global conversation about the intersection between wild waters and the human brain. Other firms taking part including AR Wall (; The VR games Beat Saber (; and blockchain provider Nasgo ( Fly Lounge will also present THE MESSY TRUTH VR Experience, a virtual reality series created by CNN”s Van Jones and Elijah Allan-Blitz. The goal of the experience is to put the viewer in the shoes of someone else, with the first episode starring Winston Duke from BLACK PANTHER. The viewer looks through the eyes of a twelve year-old African American boy in the car with his dad as they’re pulled over by the police.

In evening hours, Imagine and sponsors will co-host the annual ChefDance cocktail hour and private dinner services presented for the films, sponsors and talent participating in the program and the festivals. This legendary supper club and lounge has been a part of Park City’s festival scene for the last seventeen years and each ChefDance pairs a different theme with a world-class chef to make the festival food experience match the film experience (; Friday’s chef, presented by Rich and Ruthless, is Chef Casey Lane of Viale Di Romani in West Hollywood, CA. Other chefs TBA.

Fly Lounge’s evening program also includes screenings as well as hosted receptions and performances for four official Sundance premieres, including: Justin Chon’s US Dramatic Competition Selection MS. PURPLE; Tayarisha Poe’s NEXT Selection SELAH AND THE SPADES; Sophie Hyde’s Sundance Premiere ANIMALS; and an exclusive live performance by the Wu-Tang Clan in celebration of their Sundance Indie Episodic selection, OF MICS AND MEN.

Fly Lounge will also screen three films: SLASHER PARTY with Danny Trejo, Ray J, Princess, Vitaly; Ray J’s visual Album RAYDEMPTION, featuring Snoop Dogg, Too Short, Princess Love, Jackie Long, and Brandy; and two-time Academy Award-winner Malcolm Clarke’s documentary BETTER ANGELS, which examines the US-China relationship on the 40th anniversary of Jimmy Carter’s landmark normalization of relations with China.

Finally, Fly Lounge wraps each night with an after-hours lineup with special film and musical talent such as the Legacy Tour with Lil Easy E and E-3.

In summary, The Fly Lounge stands to make a tremendous impression on its first outing in Park City. “It’s the most comprehensive guest experience and entertainment program we’ve ever presented,” concludes Pool. “We’re looking forward to welcoming the industry to Park City in a substantial and impactful way.”

About Fly by Airthereum

The “Fly” app by Airthereum ( provides AI-powered concierge jet travel in minutes. Airthereum designed Fly with blockchain technology to make access to private travel faster by placing the power in the hands of app users.

Fly incorporates voice-activated jet reservations, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology to provide on-demand pricing from multiple leading private aviation carriers, increasing efficiencies and reducing the reliance on middlemen. Additionally, Fly can process many forms of payment including over 50 cryptocurrencies. Fly champions a faster, cheaper and smarter solution than its competitors to the $20 billion-dollar private aviation ecosystem.

Airtherium CEO Stuart Bullard combined his app programming expertise with his extensive background in various aircraft technologies to provide a vision for the trajectory of Fly. He’s also a multi type-rated commercial pilot, and has served as a music producer, notably to Dr. Dre.

About NUGL

 Headquartered in Chino Hills, CA, NUGL Inc. (OTC: NUGL) is an unbiased search engine and online directory for the marijuana industry that adjusts rankings based on community input. NUGL database includes listings for dispensaries, strains, doctors, lawyers, service professionals, vape shops, hydro stores and brands. The company focuses on leading the evolution in business relations, development and organic data in the cannabis industry with metasearch technology. Additionally, with the brand-centric search engine software, consumers can very easily find stores offering their favorite products while various brands can promote their offerings for sales and distribution.

About Imagine Events

Imagine Events’ experienced team of internationally recognized producers have created events and interactive experiences at film festivals across the world. Imagine events by the numbers include events for:

  • Actors, writers & directors who have won 85 Oscarsâ, 72 BAFTAsâ, 50 Emmysâ, and 115 Golden Globesâ.
  • The premieres of films which have gone on to win 37 Oscars (3 Best Picture), 29 BAFTAs and 15 Globes.
  • Over 30 live concerts including performances by Ice Cube, Warren G, Martina McBride, the Meat Puppets, Dierks Bentley, Snoop Dogg and Will.I.Am.
  • Celebrity chefs and culinary partners from the top kitchens around the world.
  • Over 10,000+ influencers and VIPs at Park City over the years including influencers such as Spike Lee, Idris Elba, The Black-Eyed Peas, Sandra Bullock, and Paul Oakenfold, among others.

See you at the movies!

(Source: Press release provided by Alexa Oliphant, Platform Media Group)



Eight Indigenous-Made Films to See at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

This year, eight Indigenous-made films from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States will be premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The Native American and Indigenous Film Program has a global focus and through its work strengthens Indigenous cinema.

Filmmakers supported over the years include Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Muskogee), Taika Waititi (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui), Billy Luther (Diné/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo), Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iñupiaq), Aurora Guerrero (Xicana), Sydney Freeland (Diné), Ciara Leina’ala Lacy (Kanaka Maoli), Lyle Mitchell Corbine, Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga), and Shaandiin Tome (Diné).

Following President and Founder Robert Redford’s original vision, Sundance Institute has remained committed to supporting Native American artists throughout the Institute’s history. This support has established a rich legacy of work and has supported more than 300 filmmakers through labs, grants, mentorships, public programs, and the platform of the Sundance Film Festival.



Top End Wedding / Australia (Director: Wayne Blair (Batjala Mununjali Wakkawakka), Screenwriters: Joshua Tyler, Miranda Tapsell (Larrakia Nation), Producers: Rosemary Blight, Kylie du Fresne, Kate Croser) — Lauren and Ned are engaged, they are in love, and they have just ten days to find Lauren’s mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the remote far north of Australia, reunite her parents and pull off their dream wedding. Cast: Miranda Tapsell, Gwilym Lee, Kerry Fox, Huw Higginson, Ursula Yovich, Shari Sebbens. World Premiere


MERATA: How Mum Decolonised The Screen / New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Hepi Mita (Ngati Pikiao/Ngai te Rangi), Producer: Chelsea Winstanley) — An intimate portrayal of pioneering filmmaker Merata Mita, told through the eyes of her children. Using hours of archive footage, some never before seen, her youngest child discovers the filmmaker he never knew and shares with the world the mother he lost. International Premiere

Words from a Bear / U.S.A. (Director: Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa), Producer: Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa) — A visual journey into the mind and soul of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Navarro Scott Momaday, relating each written line to his unique Native American experience representing ancestry, place and oral history. World Premiere



Fainting Spells / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño) — Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Indian Pipe Plant, used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted. Premiere

Shinaab, Part II / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lyle Corbine Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa Indians) — A look at Ojibwe ideas surrounding the death process, as a young man strives to honor his late father. U.S. Premiere


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FAST HORSE / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree) — The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with second-hand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenge the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy. U.S. Premiere

Throat Singing in Kangirsuk / Canada (Directors: Eva Kaukai (Inuit), Manon Chamberland (Inuit), Screenwriters: Emilie Baillargeon and Clark Ferguson) — Eva and Manon practice the art of throat singing in their native Arctic land, in the small village of Kangirsuk. World Premiere


Birds in the Earth / Finland (Director and screenwriter: Marja Helander, Sámi) — Examining the deeper questions of the ownership of Sámi land through the ballet performances of two young dancers.


Native Filmmaker Lab Fellows

Two Fellows participated in the Native Filmmakers Lab with their projects in May 2018 and will end their year-long Fellowship at the Festival with ongoing support, screenings, guided film discussions, and networking events. At the Lab, the Fellows worked with a cast and crew to practice shooting scenes from their short films under the expert creative mentorship of Program alumni, Creative Advisors and Program staff. This Fellowship encourages Native filmmakers to hone their storytelling and technical skills in a hands-on and supportive environment. Following the Lab, Fellows receive a year-round continuum of support.

Erica Tremblay

Erica (Seneca-Cayuga/Wyandotte Nations) is an award-winning filmmaker and digital strategist. Her projects have screened at more than 60 film festivals and her work has been featured on PBS, CNN and IFC. Erica was recently named a 40 Under 40 Native American and she is currently studying her Indigenous language on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve in Ontario.

Little Chief

The lives of a Native woman and nine-year-old boy intersect over the course of a school day on a reservation in Oklahoma.

MorningStar Angeline Wilson

MorningStar Angeline (Navajo, Blackfeet, Chippewa Cree, Latina) was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She began acting in theatre as a child and continued studying acting through college. She has been honored by the American Indian Film Festival and the New Mexico Film and Television Hall of Fame for her achievements in film. She is one of 2018 Native Lab recipients and her short film, Ahéhee’ Shizhé’é, completed production in August.

Ahéhee’ Shizhé’é (Thank you, Father)

A young woman struggles to come to terms with the legacy left to her after her father passes away from an unknown virus in a post-apocalyptic world. Through a series of dreams, she finds the strength to carry the traditions and medicine that was left to her.

Indigenous Film Fellows

Danis Goulet (Cree/Métis)

Award-winning filmmaker Danis Goulet’s films have screened at festivals around the world including Sundance, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the Berlinale. She is an alumnus of the National Screen Institute and the TIFF Talent lab and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her feature script Night Raiders has received development support from the Sundance Institute and was selected for the International Financing Forum at TIFF.

Night Raiders

The near future. A military occupation controls disenfranchised cities in post-war North America. Children are property of the State. Niska, a Cree mother, is on the run with her daughter Waseece to keep her from being sent to the State’s education camps, known as the Academies. When they are forced to leave their home, Niska makes the painstaking decision to send Waseece to Academies, only to later realize she has made a terrible mistake. Niska finds an underground band of Cree vigilantes who raid the Academies at night. She joins the raiders, determined to find and get her daughter back.

Miciana Hutcherson (Tlingit)

Miciana Hutcherson, whose Tlingit name is Aak’w Tu Shaa, is Raven Dog Salmon, with family from Angoon, Alaska. She was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska where she was a member of the All Nations Children Dance Group and graduated from Juneau Douglas High School. Miciana is a graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Indigenous and American Indian Studies. Currently, she’s pursuing a second degree in Film and Media Studies from Arizona State University. She has interned with various media companies and organizations ranging from the Native American Journalists Association, to the BET Awards with Jessie Collins Entertainment, to the Sundance Institute. She also served as Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska 2016-2017 Executive Council Emerging Leader where she attended various tribal leadership conferences and the peaceful protests at Standing Rock.

Marked By Milestones

In this life a woman’s biggest challenges are the love she chooses to accept, the tough love her mother offers, and the lack of love a father leaves behind. Mia will have to face them all to find herself.

Art of Nonfiction Fellow

The Art of Nonfiction Fellowship supports artists with a distinct voice and vision and provides them with an unrestricted grant and year-long fellowship track tailored to their creative aspirations and challenges. Art of Nonfiction is made possible by funding support from Cinereach. Generous additional support is provided by Genuine Article Pictures and Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman.

Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño)

Sky Hopinka was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, Portland, Oregon, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is currently based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance, Antimatter, Chicago Underground Film Festival, FLEXfest, and Projections. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial. He is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Talent Forum

For the first time, this year’s Festival will include a Forum for exciting talent from the Institute’s signature artist development Labs and programs to present new work to industry attendees, alongside a special artist-only program of keynotes, screenings, gatherings, and seminars. From Tuesday, January 29, through Thursday, January 31, the Sundance Institute Talent Forum will feature some of the most promising storytellers from across the Institute’s various disciplines ready for the next step with their careers or projects. This new, highly curated, invitation-only program aims to create a signature experience for artists and industry alike.

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., Writer/Director (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. is a filmmaker whose short film Shinaab played at the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and AFI Fest. His follow-up short, Shinaab: Part II, premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and will screen at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. He was supported at the 2018 Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Labs and has been awarded grants and fellowships from Cinereach, the McKnight Foundation and the Time Warner Foundation.

Blake Pickens, Producer (Chickasaw)

Blake Pickens is an Emmy Award-winning Chickasaw filmmaker. Pickens began his career writing satire for National Lampoon. He was selected for the Sundance Institute Indigenous Producers Fellowship and the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellowship. His film The Land premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically by IFC Films. His commercials have won multiple Grands Prix at Cannes Lions, and he also won an MTV VMA for his work on the music video for John Legend’s “Surefire.”

Merata Mita Fellowship

On Monday, January 28, Sundance Institute will announce the recipient of an annual fellowship named in honor of the late Māori filmmaker Merata Mita, New Zealand’s first Indigenous female filmmaker. In addition to being a global advocate for Indigenous voices, Merata was a trusted creative advisor and artistic director at the Native Lab, and a dear friend to the Institute. Each year Sundance Institute identifies a Native or Indigenous filmmaker from a global pool of nominees to award a cash grant and provide a year-long continuum of support with activities including a trip to the Sundance Film Festival, access to strategic and creative services offered by Sundance Institute artist programs, and mentorship opportunities. The Merata Mita Fellowship is supported by the Consulate General of Canada, Indigenous Media Initiatives, Anonymous, Fenton Bailey and Billy Luther, and Sarah Luther.

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Robert Redford: A Brief Statement About Big Things

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Tonight, for the first time I can remember, I feel out of place in the country I was born into and the citizenship I’ve loved my whole life. For weeks I’ve watched with sadness as our civil servants have failed us, turning toward bigotry, mean-spiritedness, and mockery as the now-normal tools of the trade.

How can we expect the next generation to step up and serve, to be interested in public life, and to aspire to get involved when all we show them is how to spar, attack, and destroy each other?

It’s hard to blame young people for calling us out, and pointing to our conflicts between the values we declare, and those we stand behind only when it’s convenient to partisanship. Many people are rightly calling it a damn mess.

But I want to encourage you to dig deep for hope and civility right now—to try to make connections with people you disagree with, to be better than our politicians.

We don’t have to share the same motivations to want the same outcomes. Let’s focus on each other, and strengthening our communities, and reflecting on what’s happening. Let’s live in justice and respect and let others fight it out now to the bitter ends.

This is our country too. Every woman, man, and child in it, our American future.

We’ve got work to do.

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