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Category: Artist Spotlight

#TBT: ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’

Don’t look now, but it’s been 17 years since John Cameron Mitchell premiered and starred in his raucously eccentric musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch Off-Broadway. In the ensuing years, Mitchell worked to refine the film adaptation of Hedwig at the 1999 Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Labs before eventually premiering the film at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. There, Hedwig immediately enticed audiences and garnered instant “cult classic” designations from critics while also winning the Audience Award and the Directing Award.

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4 Knight Fellows on How Community Shapes Their Creativity

Sundance Institute annually selects up to four artists from the eight Knight resident communities to attend the Sundance Film Festival. These artists reflect Sundance Institute’s commitment to developing and nurturing the next generation of creative voices. Knight Fellows were in residence for five days during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where they participated in a specially curated program.

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Inspired By: Sydney Freeland on C.S. Lewis, Casablanca, and ‘Drunktown’s Finest’

Director Sydney Freeland’s tenacity to make Drunktown’s Finest was born from a misguided news story. After seeing her hometown of Gallup, New Mexico, portrayed as “Drunktown, USA,” she felt compelled to offer a corrective. Enter: Drunktown’s Finest, an unwaveringly honest drama that sheds light on the southwest’s Navajo Nation through the lenses of three disparate characters—a transgender aspiring model, a man headed off to basic training, and a Christian woman.

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Adam Scott on His Much-Discussed Nude Scene in The Overnight —and the Appeal of the Duplass Brothers

For the past two decades, Adam Scott has steadily built an impressive resume of appealing performances on both the small screen in cult series like Party Down and Tell Me You Love Me, and in mainstream studio films such as The Aviator and Monster-in-Law.
Probably best-known for his winning portrayal of Ben Wyatt in the recently departed NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, Scott has also become a regular at the Sundance Film Festival over the years with his work in comedies such as 2011’s Our Idiot Brother, 2012’s Bachelorette, and last year’s A.C.

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Kim Longinotto On Fostering Intimacy With Her Subjects and Her New Film ‘Dreamcatcher’

Kim Longinotto has to be approaching some kind of record, if she hasn’t already broken it. This year she returns to the Festival for a fifth time with a documentary feature (The Day I Will Never Forget in 2003, Sisters In Law in 2006, Salma in 2013, and Rough Aunties took home the World Cinema Grand Jury prize in 2008) the latest in a 30-year, career-spanning project of giving a voice, face and human complexity to women’s stories around the world. Her first film to be shot in the United States, Dreamcatcher follows Brenda Myers-Powell, a former Chicago prostitute who’s dedicated her life to pulling young women off the streets, and preventing at-risk girls from ending up there.

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Inspired By: Ana Lily Amirpour on the Influences Behind ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’

It’s been dubbed (by our own senior programmer John Nein, in fact) the first Iranian vampire western, and who would dare refute that obscure designation? A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night garnered a rapturous reception at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it played in the NEXT section before screening again at this summer’s Sundance NEXT FEST in Los Angeles.
A Girl is set in the fictitious Bad City, a home to debauched drug users and other degenerates where a subdued vampire stalks the denizens. Our vampire, “Girl,” stunningly portrayed by Sheila Vand, only changes her ways upon being seduced by a debonair romantic named Arash.

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Inspired By: Playwrights Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson on Fantasia, Opera

Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson recently wrapped up their work at the three-week Theatre Lab at Sundance Resort where they rehearsed, revised, and rewrote parts of their in-progress play The Good Book. The play tells the story of how the Bible became the most powerful collection of texts in human history. Below, the writing duo discuss their sources of creative inspiration for sundance.

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Tinashe’s 2014 Rise Heralds a Refreshing New R&B Talent

There are meteoric ascents, and then there is Tinashe, whose debut single “2 On” has forcefully climbed its way into ‘Top 40’ charts since its January unveiling. It’s a case of spontaneous buzz that can occasionally draw skepticism, whether warranted or not, from critics and listeners alike. But even if it belies her refreshing charm, Tinashe’s staying – and star– power is self-evident, as is her role as a catalyst in an undefined realm of nouveau R&B.

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Glenn Close and Damien Chazelle Honored at Sundance Institute New York Benefit

Throughout Glenn Close’s distinguished career—she’s received an Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award, plus six Academy Award nominations for acting—she has been a fierce advocate for independent film. As part of last night’s Sundance Institute Celebration benefit, Glenn was honored with the Vanguard Leadership Award for her ongoing commitment to the indie film community. Also recognizing the emerging guard, Sundance Institute honored filmmaker Damien Chazelle with the Vanguard Award, Presented with The Lincoln Motor Company.

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Interview: ‘Dinosaur 13’ Recounts the Heartbreaking Story of the World’s Greatest Dinosaur Discovery

“I’ve jokingly said I wasn’t a full-blown nerd, but I was halfway there,” Todd Miller says, only mildly veiling his proclivity for dinosaurs. Lucky for everyone else, Miller’s youthful fascination blends with a display of striking filmmaking in the documentary Dinosaur 13. The film itself employs a tantalizing excavation process, beginning with the 1990 discovery of “Sue,” the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, and later spirals through a mess of legal and political battles that sees the team—led by the doc’s protagonist, Peter Larson—behind the discovery stripped of their beloved T.

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5 Things You Should Know About The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Rooted in themes of death and rebirth, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom is an emotive ode to the victims of the 2010 tsunami in Japan. Veteran doc filmmaker Lucy Walker interweaves amateur footage and poetic cinematography to produce a tableau of the rebirth of nature and the resilience of man. The short film won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking, Non-Fiction, at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated that same year for Best Documentary (short subject) at the Academy Awards.

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