The Latest

Eugene Ashe and Cast Create a New Classic with Period Romance ‘Sylvie’s Love’

Getting a lush, classic look for jazz-infused period romance Sylvie’s Love—set in New York City in the ’50s and ’60s—was key for writer/director Eugene Ashe.
When an audience member told Ashe she felt like she just saw a new classic at the film’s premiere, he was thrilled. “We shot the entire thing in Los Angeles for New York, and we did a lot on the classic backlots,” he said.

Michael Almereyda’s ‘Tesla’ Was Inspired by Derek Jarman—and ‘Drunk History’

Before the world premiere of his new movie, Tesla, Michael Almereyda had some words of caution for the audience. “It’s not a conventional biopic of a neurotic mathematical inventor, so you can run for the door if you expect that,” he said. “What you’re about to see is influenced by a lot of literature written on Tesla, but also movies by Derek Jarman, novels by Henry James, and certain episodes of Drunk History.

Sundance Institute Announces Leya Hale as 2020 Merata Mita Fellow

Now in its Fifth Consecutive Year, Fellowship Honors Artistic Contributions
of Late Māori Filmmaker
Park City, Utah — Sundance Institute today announced director and producer Leya Hale as the 2020 recipient of the Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship, an annual fellowship named in honor of the late Māori filmmaker Merata Mita (1942-2010). The announcement was delivered today at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival by N. Bird Runningwater, Director of the Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program.

With an Oedipal Twist, ‘Summer White’ Sets Fire to Your Typical Coming-of-Age Narrative

Immediately after his undeniably Freudian mother-son relationship drama Summer White (Blanco de Verano) finished rolling at the Egyptian Theatre, Mexico City–based writer/director Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson was quick to get one thing out of the way.

While the film’s fire-starting main character is also named Rodrigo, the plot is (mostly) fictional. “This story started as something autobiographical, but then at some point, when I started writing with Raul, we figured out that my life wasn’t that interesting, so for the sake of good drama, we decided to fictionalize and make a more interesting film,” Ruiz Patterson said with a laugh, reassuring the audience at his film’s world premiere that nobody in his past ever burned down an RV.

Jude Law in ‘The Nest’: An Isolated Country Estate Is the Wrong Move for a Family on the Edge

Sean Durkin, who won a Directing Award for his 2011 Sundance Film Festival film, Martha Marcy May Marlene, premiered his new ’80s-set movie The Nest Sunday night at the Eccles Theatre.
The audience was treated to a pre-film mini-concert by Richard Reed Parry, the film’s composer, who performed selections from the score on stand-up bass, accompanied on piano and clarinet. (Parry’s previous film scores include Boyhood and The Life of Walter Mitty.

Sundance Institute and Luminate Champion Impactful Storytelling With Multifaceted Global Support

Eight Independent Projects Aim to Spark Change
Park City, UT — The non-profit Sundance Institute, in collaboration with Luminate, the global philanthropic organization, today announced six new projects, joining two which had been previously announced, which are being supported by the Sundance Institute | Luminate Fund. The fund provides non-recoupable grants to independent artists working across documentary, narrative, episodic and emerging media whose work display a strong potential for social and cultural impact.
The six new recipients of the grants are And She Could Be Next, directed by Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia; A Cop Movie, directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios; The Fourth Man, directed by Alberto Arnaut; The Forgotten Margins, directed by Mark Grieco; Influence, directed by Diana Neille and Richard Poplak, which will premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival; and La Vocera, directed by Luciana Kaplan.

‘Wander Darkly’ Through Love and Memory, Past and Present, with Sienna Miller and Diego Luna

Adrienne (Sienna Miller) is convinced she has been killed in a car crash. This is the central tension of Wander Darkly, which follows Adrienne as she stumbles through the weeks in a dreamlike fog. Unhinged in time, the film drifts—often violently—between past and present, and you’ll be bathed in a blending of memory and reality, surrounded by intimate and image-rich details as Adrienne relives the best and worst times of her relationship with Matteo (Diego Luna).

With ‘The 40-Year-Old Version,’ Radha Blank Reconfigures the Indie Film Canon

Shot in 21 days in New York City on black-and-white film using largely handheld cinematography, The 40-Year-Old Version has a comfortable, classic lo-fi ’90s indie aesthetic about it—and that’s all part of first-time feature director Radha Blank’s design.
“I was raised by a cinephile, so I was raised on films like Night of the Hunter, Lost Weekend—you name it,” the native New Yorker said at the film’s world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. “I wanted to do something in a way to retrofit this story and film into this canon of films, because I feel this film should have been told 30 or 40 years ago.

There’s an Offscreen Event for That!

The Sundance Film Festival’s reputation may have been made on screen, but in recent years, as the Fest evolved into a hub of cultural conversation, there’s been a groundswell of live events, affectionately referred to as the Offscreen section. The best thing about Offscreen is its variety. Do you enjoy intimate fireside chats? Provocative conversations between some of the most prominent cultural icons of the moment? Engaging panels that convene unexpected combinations of well-known experts? Whatever piques your interest, there’s an Offscreen event for it.

Meet the ACLU Lawyers Battling for Civil Rights in ‘The Fight’

Filmmakers Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres—whose previous documentary, Weiner, was a Grand Jury Prize winner—are back at the Sundance Film Festival with a new project, The Fight, which tells the story of the ACLU’s battle against the Trump administration on a number of civil rights cases.
At the Q&A, Steinberg shared that the decision to make the film began the night that lawyer Lee Gelernt won the first case against Trump’s Muslim ban.
“That night, I joined the protestors on the steps of the Brooklyn courthouse,” said Steinberg of the chaotic, joyous first scene in the film.

‘Summertime’ Is a Love Letter to Los Angeles from 27 Young Poets

Two years after he debuted his first feature film, Blindspotting, at the Sundance Film Festival, Carlos López Estrada returned with Summertime, a poetic odyssey through Los Angeles with more than 30 characters—including taggers, cooks, and would-be-rappers—through one hot, life-changing summer day.
At the Q&A after the screening, Estrada described the film, which was a collaboration with 27 young poets, as a “miracle movie.”
After attending a Get Lit teen poetry program seven months ago, Estrada said, “We saw these people talking about things that were important to them in a way that was creative and beautiful.

‘Cuties’ Invites You to Be an 11-Year-Old Girl—Through All the Highs and Lows

“I wish during the next hour and a half that each one of you will become an 11-year-old little girl,” Maïmouna Doucouré told the audience assembled at the Egyptian Theatre on opening night of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, before the curtain rose on her debut feature, Cuties.
Mission accomplished. Equal parts disturbing and joyous—just like being an 11-year-old girl, if my fairly distant recollections can be trusted—the French writer/director’s coming-of-age tale follows Amy, the daughter of Senegalese immigrants living in a Paris housing project, as she deals with the highs and lows of reaching that “not a girl, not yet a woman” age range.