Category Archives: Sundance

2019 Sundance Film Festival Day One Press Conference

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Ladies and gentlemen the show will begin momentarily…..

robert redford
Robert Redford, President and Founder of the Sundance Institute, announces he’s ready to move on and will be relinquishing his duties to spend his time with the films. Redford’s announcement came today at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah, on January 24th, 2019, Day One of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival with its Risk & Independence theme is underway. With a full house for the Day One Press Conference at the Park City, Utah, Egyptian Theatre this afternoon the President and Founder of Sundance Institute, Robert Redford, strolled out onto the stage and announced he’s moving on. He wholeheartedly thanked the volunteers who stand out in the cold year after year welcoming festival goers.  Redford softened the blow of his departure by informing the attendees he feels the festival is in a good place and he intends on spending his time with the films from here on with full confidence in the leadership hierarchy in place. Redford exited the platform upstage giving way to the Sundance Institute’s Executive Director, Keri Putnam.

putnam-1
Keri Putnam, Executive Director of the Sundance Institute, delivers a powerful message on the institute’s current state of affairs, on January 24, 2019, Day One of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

Putnam assured the press Mr. Redford’s vision is thriving while gently reminding journalists the festival is a non-profit and a powerful supporter of artists amplifying their work and helping to launch their respective careers. Putnam compared the festival to a public square where artists can share a creatively connected community unencumbered from state messaging – something sorely missing in today’s surging nationalist movements. Without further adieu Putnam introduced the programming panel.

Each programmer shared their individual mission within the Sundance Institute of traveling around the world making connections while seeking diversity in the global community of artists and filmmakers. And, according to the panel, it’s not just about the art, it’s also about the deeper implications behind the underrepresented voices. It’s about the intersection of art, culture and community and the overt attempts to devalue media representations that are not aligned with mainstream, conglomerate-controlled (and state-controlled) media. The result is shallow and sensationalist pieces that debase human kind and its diversity. Intermittently, questions previously submitted by journalists were thoroughly discussed.

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival had a record number of submissions, 14,259 to be exact, and began tracking the demographic information of its filmmakers. Dr. Stacy Smith of the University of Southern California, Annenberg Media Center, will present the findings and their implications at the Filmmaker Lodge tomorrow, January 25, 2019. Stay tuned!

Until then, I’ll see you at the movies!

HollywoodGlee Inside Festival Headquarters
HollywoodGlee inside the Sundance Film Festival Headquarters at the Park City Marriott on January 23, 2019, in Park City, Utah, the day before the opening of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

*Featured photo from left to right: John Cooper, Director, Sundance Film Festival; Kim Yutani, Director of Programming; John Nein, Senior Programmer; Shari Frilot, Chief Curator, New Frontier and Senior Programmer; David Courier, Senior Programmer; and, Caroline Libresco, Senior Programmer, and Director, Catalyst and Women at Sundance. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

 

 

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Offscreen at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival: Panels and Events

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Onstage: Jackie Chan, Lena Waithe, Jane Campion, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Boots Riley, Hannah Pearl Utt, Desiree Akhavan, Tommy Orange, Among Many Others

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute will convene dozens of offscreen events, including inclusive and intersectional conversations on the next wave of storytelling, radical data transparency, the future of democracy at its intersection with the arts, behind-the-scenes panels on the art of filmmaking and musical performances that range from intimate to raucous at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival taking place in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Sundance, Utah, January 24 through February 3, 2019.

The first 2019 installment of the longstanding Power of Story series, Power of Story: Makers of the New Narrative Revolution will convene Terence Nance (As Told To G/D Thyself, Random Acts of Flyness), Reggie Watts (Runnin’), John Gaeta (Senior Vice President of Creative Strategy, Magic Leap), Stephanie Dinkins (Not The Only One), and Sarah Ellis (The Seven Ages of Man, director of digital development, Royal Shakespeare Company) and moderator Julia Kaganskiy to explore a range of inspirations, the changing nature of artistic discovery, the necessity of invention, and how culture stands to be dramatically reshaped by revolutionary, new narrative experiences. Power of Story is presented by Dropbox.

The conversation continues with Power of Story: Pushing Boundaries, which will gather filmmakers Rick Alverson (The Mountain), Mads Brügger (Cold Case Hammarskjöld), Kitty Green (Casting JonBenet), Penny Lane (Hail Satan?), and Asad J. Malik (A Jester’s Tale) and moderator John Horn (The Frame) for a conversation about how their work pushes boundaries conceptually, formally, and morally.

The Festival’s opening weekend offscreen programming brings democracy into focus: on Saturday, Sundance Institute and For Freedoms co-present a Town Hall on art and democracy, featuring artist-activist Patrisse Cullors, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, playwright Lisa Kron, photographer Susan Meiselas, choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili. On Sunday, veteran investigative journalist Lowell Bergman, political and cultural analyst Farai Chideya, Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (The Great Hack), and writer Tim Wu explore the intersection of democracy and journalism.

Elsewhere in the program, filmmakers Garrett Bradley, Sky Hopinka, Amelia Winger-Bearskin and RaMell Ross join novelist Tommy Orange (There There) to discuss work made in the context of centuries of erasure and misrepresentation. Alma Ha’rel (Honey Boy) will convene with the legendary Benedetta Barzini (The Disappearance of My Mother) to talk ethical and aesthetic challenges of biography; Kyra Sedgwick and Sacha Jenkins are among the makers talking about creating indie episodic work.

Other noteworthy conversations at the Festival include the Cinema Café daily series of informal chats, which this year will include conversations between Jackie Chan,Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jane Campion, Boots Riley, Hannah Pearl Utt, Ashton Sanders, Desiree Akhavan, Tessa Thompson, among others. Several Cinema Café events are presented by The New York Times TimesTalks, noted below; more Cinema Café conversations will appear on sundance.org/program shortly.

The Celebration of Music in Film concert features iconic performances inspired by the Sundance Film Festival’s most powerful films. Past celebrations have honored legends such as Joan Jett, Common, Erykah Badu, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Mos Def, Michel Gondry, Darlene Love, and more. This year—which marks the 20th anniversary of the concert series—we celebrate Blinded by the Light, a film that bridges different cultures and corners of the world through the music of Bruce Springsteen. Join us for an evening dedicated to the power of music and film with performances by Feist, The Head and the Heart, Patty Griffin, Rotana Tarabzouni, and composer Kris Bowers in a special duet with Frally Hynes. Celebration of Music in Film is programmed annually by the Sundance Institute Film Music Program.

Other live music at the Festival includes performances at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café (free and open to all Festival credential holders 21 and older) by Grammy winners Claudia Brant, Everlast, Flor de Toloache, Patty Griffin and Lee Ann Womack. The annual BMI Snowball (open to all Festival credential holders) will feature Neyla Pekarek (formerly of The Lumineers), Hailey Knox  and Tamar-kali. This year’s panelists for BMI’s composer/director roundtable “Music & Film: The Creative Process,” includes Sundance Institute Film Music Program Director Peter Golub; composer Mandy Hoffman and director Minhal Baig (Hala); composer Jon Ekstrand and director May el-Toukhy (Queen of Hearts); composer Blake Neely and director Ryan White (Ask Dr. Ruth); composer Heather McIntosh and director Martha Stephens (To the Stars); and composer Will Bates (The Inventor) and (The Sound of Silence).

For dates, times, locations and ticket information for these and other offscreen events, including panels and live music hosted by our sponsors, visit sundance.org/festival.

Day One Press Conference 
Thursday, January 24, 12 p.m. PT / 1 p.m. MT / 3 p.m. ET
Join Sundance Institute Founder and President Robert Redford, Executive Director Keri Putnam, Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper, Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming Kim Yutani and Festival Senior Programmers David Courier, Shari Frilot, Caroline Libresco and John Nein. Doors open to accredited press at 11 a.m. Watch the livestream beginning at 1 p.m. MT at sundance.org and youtube.com/sff.

POWER OF STORY
Power of Story looks to deepen public engagement with storytelling, explore cinema culture, and celebrate artists whose work propels the form. Presented by Dropbox.

Power of Story: Makers of the New Narrative Revolution
Saturday, January 26, 2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St.
#PowerOfStory

Bolstered by the breathtaking palate of emerging media, visionary artists are deviating from norms and reinventing storytelling as we know it. Terence Nance (As Told To G/D Thyself, Random Acts of Flyness), Reggie Watts (Runnin’), John Gaeta (senior vice president of creative strategy, Magic Leap), Stephanie Dinkins (Not the Only One), and Sarah Ellis (The Seven Ages of Man; director of digital development, Royal Shakespeare Company) look at the tantalizing futurescape of story.

Power of Story: Pushing Boundaries
Thursday, January 31, 2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St.
#PowerOfStory

Maintaining the freedom to shatter prevailing orthodoxies, reframe moral perspectives, and push the boundaries of accepted norms, artists don’t lead us to safety but away from it, out of our comfort zones. With Rick Alverson (The Mountain), Mads Brügger (Cold Case Hammarskjöld), Kitty Green (Casting JonBenet), Penny Lane (Hail Satan?), and Asad J. Malik (A Jester’s Tale).

CINEMA CAFÉ
Cinema Café revives the culture of conversation, offering audiences the opportunity to engage with an array of filmmakers and artists in an informal dialogue, complete with coffee and treats. Open to credential holders. Select Cinema Café conversations will be livestreamed.

Friday, January 25–Saturday, February 2, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)

#CinemaCafe

Jackie Chan 
TimesTalks moderated by Kyle Buchanan
Friday, January 25, 11:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St., second floor
#CinemaCafe
#TimesTalks

Ashton Sanders and KiKi Layne
TimesTalks Moderated by Kyle Buchanan
Saturday, January 26, 11:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St., second floor
#CinemaCafe
#TimesTalks

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Boots Riley
TimesTalks moderated by Kyle Buchanan
Sunday, January 27, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St., second floor
#CinemaCafe
#TimesTalks

Jenny Slate and Ed Helms
TimesTalks Moderated by Kyle Buchanan
Monday, January 28, 11:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St., second floor
#CinemaCafe
#TimesTalks

Jen Tullock & Hannah Pearl Utt and Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe
Thursday, January 31, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St., second floor
#CinemaCafe

Tessa Thompson and Jane Campion
Friday, February 1, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St., second floor
#CinemaCafe

Desiree Akhavan and Nisha Ganatra
Saturday, February 2, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St., second floor
#CinemaCafe

NEW FRONTIER PANELS
Explore the technology and innovation pushing the boundaries of storytelling. Open to the public.

AI: I Love You
#NewFrontier
Sunday, January 27, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
The Box at The Ray, 1768 Park Ave.
Artificial intelligence in our day-to-day lives is shifting. Once typified by science-fiction writers, practical AI is now ever present in the searches we perform and the products we consume. Now AI gets much more personal, processing our words, tone, expression, senses, and gestures. Join Eleanor Whitley (Sweet Dreams); Stephanie Dinkins (Not the Only One); John Monos (head of human-centered AI at Magic Leap); and Google Empathy Lab’s Danielle Krettek to explore how we might ensure that AI technologies lift us up and move us forward.

The Second Coming of AR
#NewFrontier
Monday, January 28, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
The Box at The Ray, 1768 Park Ave.
Enthusiasm for augmented reality and mixed reality has been at a fever pitch this year. ARKit and ARCore have caused an explosion of developer activity, and many believe that the potential reach of AR is an order of magnitude greater than VR. Join Peter Flaherty (THE DIAL); Ted Schilowitz (Paramount Pictures Futurist in Residence); Alice Wroe (Magic Leap’s Mica); and Artie’s founder and CEO, Ryan Horrigan, in a discussion about the present of AR and what important technologies are on the horizon that may trigger the next wave.

The Biodigital Continuum: Rebounding Digital Democracy
#NewFrontier
Tuesday, January 29, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
The Box at The Ray, 1768 Park Ave.
Plugged into our phones 24/7 is not a good look for any of us. But becoming technological teetotalers is not a practical option, as digital platforms continuously aid and abet our thoughts, needs, and even our identities. Join economist Douglas Rushkoff (Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Team Human), filmmaker/author Tiffany Shlain (Connected; founder, the Webby Awards), and filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (The Great Hack, The Square) in a high-tech fireside chat as they explore the relationship between digital platforms, democracy, and what it means to be a member of the human species.

Artistic Practice on the Bleeding Edge of Tech
#NewFrontier
Thursday, January 31, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
The Box at The Ray, 1768 Park Ave.
Among the most exciting things about New Frontier artists are the formal innovations and groundbreaking technologies they create in pursuit of artistic expression. Join Nonny de la Peña (REACH), Victor Morales (Esperpento), and Melissa Painter (Embody) as they discuss their artistic process; the rewards, potential, and challenges of storytelling using bleeding-edge technologies; and what brings them to the necessity of invention.

FESTIVAL PANELS
Join artists, writers, thinkers, and movers and shakers to explore culture, society and what is preoccupying us  – as illuminated by this year’s Festival lineup. Open to Festival credential holders.

Making the (In)visible: Radical Transparency in the Data-Driven Age
Friday, January 25, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFInclusionData
Join Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Stacy Smith (USC), actor and writer Lena Waithe, Nina Jacobson (Crazy Rich Asians), and Sundance Institute’s Karim Ahmad for a discussion of the latest research by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative—what it reveals about race and gender at the Sundance Institute and what it reveals about the field—and a discussion of the new models to advance equitable representation in film.

Can Art Save Democracy?
Saturday, January 26, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFForFreedoms
In 2018, For Freedoms launched the 50 State Initiative to catalyze civic engagement and public discourse through the arts. In this town hall, join Eric Gottesman and Tanya Selvaratnam of For Freedoms, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, performer and choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili, Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas, artist/co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors, and playwright and performer Lisa Kron (Fun Home) as they provide  some soul-searching provocations around art and democracy.

Democracy Hacked?
Sunday, January 27, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFDemocracyHacked
Is it possible to foster and protect democracy against the unprecedented triple threat of rampant inequality, the corrosion of public discourse, and the polarizing forces of the internet? With reporter and political and cultural analyst Farai Chideya, veteran investigative reporter Lowell Bergman, director Jehane Noujaim (The Great Hack), author Tim Wu (The Attention Merchants), and Patrick Gaspard (president, Open Society Foundations).

Reseeing the Present, Rewriting the Past
Monday, January 28, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFPastRewrite
For two particular U.S. populations, Native Americans and African Americans, the history of mainstream cinema has been one of erasure and misrepresentation. But cinema is being challenged through radically reimagined aesthetics and upended storyforms. With Tommy Orange (There There), RaMell Ross (Hale County This Morning, This Evening), Sky Hopinka (Fainting Spells), Garrett Bradley (America), Amelia Winger-Bearskin (artist/technologist), and Crystal Echo Hawk (Echo Hawk Consulting).

The New Storytellers
Tuesday, January 29, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFNewStorytellers
With scientists and storytellers finding imaginative new ways to render science narratives in popular media, have we entered a great new era of public understanding of science? With Sev Ohanian (writer/producer of Searching), Heather Berlin (neuroscientist, professor, and host of Science Goes to the Movies), Kerry Bishe (Halt and Catch Fire), Paula Apsell (executive producer of NOVA), and Janna Levin (astrophysicist and writer). Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Adventures in Indie Episodic
Wednesday, January 30, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFIndieEpisodic
As the episodic landscape continues to evolve, artists are pushing the boundaries of the form and creating groundbreaking work populated by unforgettable characters. Join Kyra Sedgwick (Girls Weekend), Deniese Davis (Issa Rae Productions), Sacha Jenkins (Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men), and Stephanie Laing (Bootstrapped) with moderator Michelle Satter (Sundance Institute) for a conversation about what it takes to reimagine the paradigm of episodic storytelling.

Imagining the Independent Internet
Thursday, January 31, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFIndieInternet
What is the future of online community, and what can new technologies—and yes, the blockchain—offer artists seeking autonomy, privacy, ownership, and independence? Join Sundance Institute’s Tara Hein-Phillips; former head of YouTube’s top creator partnerships Benjamin Grubbs (CEO of Next 10 Ventures); artist/technologist Amelia Winger-Bearskin  and writer Logan Hill to find out.

Leaps of Faith
Friday, February 1, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFLeapsOfFaith
From snake-wielding Appalachian Pentecostals to real-life revolutionary Satanists, this year’s Festival is filled with fiction and nonfiction films inhabiting religious worlds to tell the stories of our times. Join critic and journalist Alissa Wilkinson (Vox), directors Brittany Poulton and Dan Madison Savage (Them That Follow), director Paul Harrill (Light From Light), and Jex Blackmore (featured in the documentary Hail Satan?) to explore why so many artists are taking these narrative leaps of faith.

Life Stories
Saturday, February 2, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#SFFLifeStories
What are the challenges of creatively portraying the real lives of others in film. When are such biographical portraits acts of trespass, and when are they acts of transformative truth telling—and can they be both? Join Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Benedetta Barzini (The Disappearance of My Mother), and others.

Film Church
Sunday, February 3, 10:30 a.m.–noon
Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St. (2nd floor)
#FilmChurch
What could be more divine than 10 days of film watching? Finish off your Sundance Film Festival experience by sharing a near-spiritual moment with Festival director John Cooper and director of programming Kim Yutani, who will offer nondenominational talks of the Festival that was with a variety of special guests.

MUSIC

Sundance ASCAP Music Café
Performances daily 2:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. (Doors open 1:30 p.m.)
751 Main St.
Open to Festival credential holders 21 and older 
Whether it’s enhancing drama, building atmosphere, or underscoring an unforgettable moment, music is essential to the movies. The Sundance ASCAP Music Café honors the love affair between music and film with eight days of performances from artists and songwriters you already love and some you need to know. Stop by to discover some great tunes and find a collaborator for your next project. Courtesy of your friends at ASCAP, home to more than 690,000 of the world’s greatest creators and a proud partner of the Sundance Film Festival for 21 years. Featured performers this year include Stephen Bishop, Creamer, Dounia, Everlast, Flor De Toloache, Patty Griffin, Herizen, iDKHOW (I Dont Know How But They Found Me), Leland, Patrick Martin, Shim Moore, Milck, Judith Owen, Park88, J.P. Saxe, and Warbly Jets, plus a special ACM and Bluebird Cafe Songwriters Series performance lineup with Lee Ann Womack, Deana Carter, Carlton Anderson, and Jacob Davis. Artists will be featured January 25 through February 1 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day. For the full lineup, check out ascap.com and the Festival mobile app.

Celebration of Music and Film 
Saturday, January 26, 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. The Shop, 1167 Woodside Ave.
Open to Festival credential holders as space allows 
The Celebration of Music in Film concert—which marks the 20th anniversary of the concert series—celebrates Blinded by the Light, a film that bridges different cultures and corners of the world through the music of Bruce Springsteen. Join us for an evening dedicated to the power of music and film with performances by Feist, The Head and the Heart, Patty Griffin, Rotana Tarabzouni, Frally Hynes and composer Kris Bowers. Celebration of Music in Film is programmed annually by the Sundance Institute Film Music Program and has hosted iconic performances inspired by the Sundance Film Festival’s most powerful films with performances by  Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Common, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Andra Day, Lyle Lovett, Chuck D, Aloe Blacc and more.

BMI Snowball
Tuesday, January 29, 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. (Doors open 7:30 p.m.)
The Shop, 1167 Woodside Ave.
Open to Festival credential holders as space allows 
BMI invites you to the 17th annual Snowball Music Showcase. This showcase is an intimate night of music featuring a phenomenal mixture of emerging and iconic artists. Memorable past performances have included Rita Wilson, Christina Perri, Donovan, Rodriguez, Death Cab for Cutie, Devo, Allen Stone, KT Tunstall, Robert Randolph, Dawes, Terence Blanchard, Keb’ Mo’, Minnie Driver, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Percy Sledge and Spooner Oldham. Check sundance.org for this year’s lineup details.

For a full list of Partner Panels, featuring the latest and greatest from our partner community, please visit sundance.org/festival. Partner Panels are open to all Festival credential holders and the general public as space allows.

 

The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Eighth Grade, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Beasts of the Southern Wild, 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®. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2019 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire, YouTube; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, Amazon Studios, AT&T, DIRECTV, Dropbox, Netflix, Omnicom, Stella Artois; Sustaining Sponsors – Ancestry, Canada Goose, Canon, Dell, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, High West Distillery, IMDbPro, Lyft, RIMOWA, Unity Technologies, University of Utah Health; Media Sponsors – The Atlantic, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, VARIETY, The Wall Street Journal. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and 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. Look for the Official Partner seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Eighth Grade, Blindspotting, The Tale, Get Out, The Big Sick, Strong Island, Blackfish, Top of the Lake, Winter’s Bone, The Wolfpack, Dear White People, Trapped, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home.

(Source: Press release provided by Sundance Media Relations)

FLY LOUNGE ROLLS OUT RED CARPET FOR SUNDANCE OPENING WEEKEND

Posted by Larry Gleeson

IMAGINE EVENTS’  FLY LOUNGE

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 (www.gbybeauty.com) 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 (http://richandruthless.com). 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 (https://www.craterlakespirits.com).

TRIPP will provide guests demos of their immersive VR technology for health and wellness (www.tripp.com). 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 (http://arwall.com); The VR games Beat Saber (http://beatsaber.com); and blockchain provider Nasgo (https://nasgo.com). 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 (www.chefdance.com); 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 (https://airthereum.com) 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.

FEATURE FILMS

PREMIERES


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

DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES


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

SHORT FILMS

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS


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

DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS

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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

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS


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.

FELLOWS

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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(Source: Sundance.org)

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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(Source: Sundance.org)