Announced on January 25, the annual Sundance Film Festival will take place beginning January 28 through Feburary 3 with Patton Oswalt scheduled to host the traditional awards night. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sundance is taking place across the country this time through Satellite Screens, a first for the festival.
Thursday’s opening night is scheduled on the festival’s platform at 6 p.m. MT by Institute CEO Keri Putnam and Festival Director Tabitha Jackson. Musical performances include those from festival alumni as well as Red Spirit and Rhiannon Giddens. The awards night on February 2 will be hosted by Oswalt and feature appearances by Allison Brie, Shira Haas, and Diego Luna.
“What makes Sundance, Sundance is of course more than simply the films. We are excited that the conversations, provocations, performances, and celebration of this community are even richer this year because they are coming from so many different places and perspectives.” -Tabitha Jackson
For an updated list of activities and updates concerning the 2021 Sunset Film Festival please see below:
Legal scholar and civil rights advocate Kimberlé W. Crenshaw moderates “The Story of Us” on Saturday, January 30, a conversation including Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Việt Thanh Nguyễn about the construction, dissemination, and deployment of the grand narrative of the United States and the critical role of independent media in its retelling.
A new Music Speakeasy, “Sound & Vision,” presented by Southwest Airlines, will take place Monday, February 1; 9:00 p.m.– 9:45 p.m. Come together for an unconventional audio/visual experience featuring artists Bardo (Chicano Batman), Aliana Castillo, Ant Clemons, Blue DeTiger, Elissa Miekle, Enny, Frances Forever, Jensen McRae, Orion Sun, Tekno, Sofia Valdes and Viagra Boys, in an exclusive series of performances that will get everyone grooving from the comfort of their living rooms.
Participants have also been announced for the Institute’s Power of Story: Speculative Fiction is the Place conversation presented by Netflix: Hannah Beachler (Production Designer, Black Panther), Jewelle Gomez (Author, The Gilda Sisters), Sophia Nahli Allison (Traveling the Interstitium with Octavia Butler), and Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki) will join moderator Jacqueline Stewart (Chief Artistic and Programming Officer, Academy Museum and TCM Host).
Additionally, Conjuring the Collective, the Womxn at Sundance Speakeasy will feature a very special appearance by recording artist Brittany Howard, as well as poet Ryka Ayoti, alongside previously-announced appearances by poet Apiorkor, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison (Ailey), actor Marlee Matlin, and director Siân Heder (CODA), actor Rita Moreno, actor SOKO (Mayday, The Blazing World), with remarks from Institute Board Chair Pat Mitchell and board member Amy Redford. Collectives including Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Film Fatales, FWD-Doc and XRCoven will also participate.
More free content including panels, talks, and conversations can be found in the Festival Village alongside programming from our Satellite Screens. The Festival will host 15 events including daily artist meetups and even a special appearance by Lucy, an artificial intelligence who is technically an alum herself. Daily Artist Meetups, open to all and inspired by the Sundance Institute Collective’s ongoing Artist Roundtables, offer an intimate opportunity to break virtual bread with other members of our artist community.
Join us and engage in conversation around technical and philosophical topics affecting the storytelling field. Each session will begin with a 15-minute provocation from a selection of Sundance artists and staff members, followed by an open discussion in breakout rooms where you will have an opportunity to meet other storytellers and contribute to the conversation.
Other Artists Lounge programs include the Native Forum Celebration, the Art of Editing Celebration, presented by Adobe, the Producers Celebration presented by Amazon Studios, as well as (among others):
Beyond the Film: Exploring Genre
Jan. 30. 3:00 pm MT
Moderated by Roxanne Benjamin and featuring the teams from Censor, Knocking, Violation and The Blazing World
Worldbuilding Toward 2030
Jan 31. 5:00 pm MT
In this interactive session, a selection of Sundance Film Festival artists will use 2020 as an inflection point to envision a radically aspirational future of their own design, through the lens of restoration for historically marginalized communities in the field and beyond.
Beyond the Film: Music-Driven Nonfiction
Feb 2nd 3:00 pm
Moderated by Morgan Neville and featuring the teams from The Sparks Brothers and Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
While passes for films have sold out, single tickets are still available — as is the Explorer Pass, which in addition to the complete Short Films and Indie Series programs (US only) provides global access to 2021 edition of New Frontier, including the Gallery space with its curated slate of work, the Cinema House, and Film Party environments where all pass-holders can connect as avatars via proximity audio and video chat for a truly innovative social experience.