Tickets are now available for the first-of-its-kind event in the United States featuring three days of screenings and programming for Chicago audiences, including titles from the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah

CHICAGO – (May 30, 2024) — Choose Chicago, in partnership with the City of Chicago and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, announced today programming and schedule details of the highly anticipated inaugural Sundance Institute x Chicago event, June 28 – 30. This landmark event will showcase a lineup of films and panel discussions, celebrating both the art of filmmaking and championing creative independence in Chicago’s vibrant cultural sector. Tickets for all screenings, panel discussions, and master classes are now available at

“Chicago’s dynamic cultural scene is an ideal backdrop for this special collaboration with the Sundance Institute,” says Rich Gamble, Interim President and CEO at Choose Chicago. “We are proud to partner with the City of Chicago and the Sundance Institute to produce a new, only-in-Chicago experience that celebrates diverse storytelling and supports our brilliant local community of filmmakers.” 

Clinée Hedspeth, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which includes the Chicago Film Office, adds, “This event is a significant addition to Chicago’s cultural calendar, offering unique insights into the filmmaking process and fostering discussions that inspire and challenge audiences. Our city is admired world-wide for its culture, and this festival will further spotlight Chicago as a vibrant filmmaking hub with existing and emerging talent and voices to be celebrated.”

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981 with the mission of fostering new voices in independent storytelling, the nonprofit Sundance Institute is an iconic institution and a champion of independent filmmakers globally. The Institute operates the Sundance Film Festival and it provides year-round support to both emerging and established filmmakers through artist labs, direct grants, and educational events.

Eugene Hernandez, Festival Director and head of public programming, Sundance Institute said, “We are honored to invite the Chicago community, in a city known for its deep appreciation of the arts and culture, to experience a taste of the Sundance Institute for a few days next month. We’re excited and looking forward to engaging with emerging artists and film-lovers from Chicagoland and beyond through screenings, workshops, and speaking programs.”

Tickets for Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 screenings will be $20. A portion of the box office proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Alliance of Film Festivals (CAFF). The donation to CAFF will be used to support their members’ festivals and their important contribution to championing creative independence in Chicago.

“On behalf of the 44 members of the Chicago Alliance of Film Festival, we are extremely grateful for this meaningful support from the Sundance Institute and Choose Chicago,” said Karen Cardarelli, Executive Director of Facets Multi-Media and a CAFF representative. “These funds will be redistributed to member organizations through a regranting process. The much-needed support will help our members further CAFF’s collective goal to enhance the cultural and economic vitality of our communities.”

The three-day event will include Midwest premiere screenings of four films drawn from the Sundance Film Festival’s lineup in January, along with a robust series of panel discussions, master classes, and community programming. 

Programming Schedule


“Luther: Never Too Much” / U.S.A. (Director: Dawn Porter, Producers: Trish D Chetty, Ged Doherty, Jamie Foxx, Datari Turner, Leah Smith) “Luther: Never Too Much” chronicles the story of a vocal virtuoso. Using a wealth of rarely seen archives, Vandross tells his own story with assistance from his closest friends and musical collaborators including Mariah Carey, Dionne Warwick, Valerie Simpson and Roberta Flack. The film relives the many stunning moments of Vandross’ Grammy® award-winning musical career, while exploring his personal life, health struggles, and a lifelong battle to earn the respect his music deserved. Documentary. 

Screenings: June 28, 7:30 PM at Logan Center for the Arts; June 29, 2 PM at Davis Theater and June 30, 12 PM at Logan Center for the Arts. 

“Sugarcane” / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Julian Brave NoiseCat, Director, Cinematographer, and Producer: Emily Kassie, Producer: Kellen Quinn) — An investigation into abuse and missing children at an Indian residential school ignites a reckoning on the nearby Sugarcane Reserve. Documentary. 

Screenings: June 29, 1 PM at Logan Center for the Arts and June 30, 2 PM at Davis Theater.

“A Different Man” / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Aaron Schimberg, Producers: Christine Vachon, Vanessa McDonnell, Gabriel Mayers) — Aspiring actor Edward undergoes a radical medical procedure to drastically transform his appearance. But his new dream face quickly turns into a nightmare, as he loses out on the role he was born to play and becomes obsessed with reclaiming what was lost. Cast: Sebastian Stan, Renate Reinsve, Adam Pearson. Fiction.

Screenings: June 29, 7 PM at Davis Theater; June 30, 4 PM at Logan Center for the Arts

“Your Monster” / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Caroline Lindy, Producers: Kayla Foster, Shannon Reilly, Melanie Donkers, Kira Carstensen) — After her life falls apart, soft-spoken actress Laura Franco finds her voice again after she meets a terrifying, yet weirdly charming Monster living in her closet. A fantastical and dark romantic comedy about falling in love with your inner rage. Cast: Melissa Barrera, Tommy Dewey, Meghann Fahy, Edmund Donovan, Kayla Foster. Fiction. 

Screenings: June 29, 8 PM at Logan Center for the Arts; June 30, 7 PM at Davis Theatre. 

Panel Discussions and Master Classes 

The Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 event will not only showcase films but also offer a robust series of talks and master classes aimed at engaging both film professionals and enthusiasts. These offerings are all free, but have limited capacity and require online reservations. 

Playing for Keeps: How Development Labs could be the investment that leads to local artistic sustainability

Date/time: Saturday, June 29 | 5 PM 

Location: Logan Center for the Arts, Performance Hall 

Details: This panel will explore innovative strategies in film development, offering insights into creative processes that drive the industry. Confirmed panelists to date include Ilyse McKimmie (Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute), Angie Gaffney (Producer, 521 Films) and Elijah McKinnon (Co-Founder / Executive Director, OTV).

A Better Way? New Sustainable Models for Financing and Distribution: Dual Value, Philanthropy, and Social Impact

Date/time: Sunday, June 30 | 1:15 PM 

Location: Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater 

Details: Discussing cutting-edge trends in financing and distribution, this session will provide attendees with a deeper understanding of the evolving landscape of film production. Confirmed panelists to date include Adrienne Becker (Level Forward), Jason Matsomoto (Full Spectrum Features), Lauren Pabst (MacArthur Foundation), Jonah Zeiger (Chicago Film Office).

Stronger Together: How festivals, art houses, and independent exhibitors are working together to revive & reinvent the theatrical experience

Date/time: Sunday, June 30 | 5:15 PM 

Location: Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater 

Details: Experts will debate and discuss the changing role of film festivals in shaping cinema and engaging global audiences. Confirmed Panelists to date include Eugene Hernandez (Director, Sundance Film Festival), Karen Cardarelli (Facets and Chicago Alliance of Film Festivals).

Sundance Institute Short Film Master Class, presented by United Airlines 

Dates/time: Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 | 10:30 AM 

Locations: Logan Center for the Arts, Screening Room (June 29) and the Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater (June 30) 

Details: Join Sundance programmer Mike Plante as he discusses the art of the short film, including submission processes and festival strategies, with insights from local filmmakers. 

Sundance Institute Artist Programs Presentation, presented by United Airlines: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sundance but Were Afraid to Ask

Dates/time: Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 | 3:30 PM 

Locations: Logan Center for the Arts, Screening Room (June 29) and the Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater (June 30) 

Details: Ilyse McKimmie from Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program will cover the Institute’s year-round support of artists across various formats, complemented by experiences shared by Chicago-based filmmaker McKenzie Chinn. Joining Ilyse will be writer, director, actor, and Chicago local McKenzie Chinn. McKenzie will share her experience as an alumna of the 2021 Screenwriters and Directors Labs with her in-development feature A Real One. Her proof-of-concept short of the same title won the Gold Hugo for Live Action Short Film at the 2023 Chicago International Film Festival.

Community Programming 

Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 was developed in partnership with Choose Chicago, the Chicago Film Office, and advisory board members drawn from Chicago’s local film and cultural communities. The weekend will also provide a platform for local organizations through ancillary programming and events. Visit [insert link: Community Programming page] to learn more. The event will also be supported by a locally hired operations team led by Chicago-based film festival leaders NK Gutiérrez and Ana Garcia Doyle and supported by dozens of volunteers from across the community.

All Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 event venues are equipped with accessible devices and resources to ensure an inclusive experience for all attendees. For more details on accessibility and accommodations, please visit the official event page

Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 is presented in partnership with the Sundance Institute, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Film Office/Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). We are also grateful for the support of our Premier Sponsors, United Airlines, Cinespace Studios and Periscope Post and Audio. 


Press Credentials:  Press wishing to cover Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 may apply for credentials here

About Choose Chicago: Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city, its residents and our partner business community. Follow @choosechicago on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and X/Twitter. For more information, visit

About Chicago Film Office: The Chicago Film Office, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, leads the city’s effort to attract and support the production of all forms of screen entertainment produced in Chicago. For filmmakers, it is a one-stop liaison for all City of Chicago production needs including permits, city services, and logistical support. For film lovers and filmmakers alike, the CFO produces film programming, often in partnership with community organizations, that offers a wide spectrum of cinema experiences both for learning and enjoyment. Programming includes the Millennium Park Summer Film Series, international and art house screenings in the Chicago Cultural Center, and numerous partnership programs and events aimed to build both community and industry across all forms of filmmaking and film exhibition in Chicago. The Chicago Film Office supports the independent film sector and aims to elevate the City’s role as a leading hub and convener within the broader field. For details, visit

About Sundance Institute: As a champion and curator of independent stories, the nonprofit Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists across storytelling media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, 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. Sundance Collab, a digital community platform, brings a global cohort of working artists together to learn from Sundance advisors and connect with each other in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Through the Sundance Institute artist programs, we have supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Big Sick, Bottle Rocket, Boys Don’t Cry, Boys State, Call Me by Your Name, Clemency, CODA, Drunktown’s Finest, The Farewell, Fire of Love, Flee, The Forty-Year-Old Version, Fruitvale Station, Get Out, Half Nelson, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hereditary, Honeyland, The Infiltrators, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Little Woods, Love & Basketball, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Mudbound, Nanny, Navalny, O.J.: Made in America, One Child Nation, Pariah, Raising Victor Vargas, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, RBG, Sin Nombre, Sorry to Bother You, The Souvenir, Strong Island, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Swiss Army Man, Sydney, A Thousand and One, Top of the Lake, Walking and Talking, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and Zola. Through year-round artist programs, the Institute also nurtured the early careers of such artists as Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Gregg Araki, Darren Aronofsky, Lisa Cholodenko, Ryan Coogler, Nia DaCosta, The Daniels, David Gordon Green, Miranda July, James Mangold, John Cameron Mitchell, Kimberly Peirce, Boots Riley, Ira Sachs, Quentin Tarantino, Taika Waititi, Lulu Wang, and Chloé Zhao. Support Sundance Institute in our commitment to uplifting bold artists and powerful storytelling globally by making a donation at Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.

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