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Day 2: Hobos, Jelly Beans, and Sarah Silverman Dominate YouTube Shorts @ NEXT WEEKEND

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Sarah Silverman in Voices of Learning.

Nate von Zumwalt, Editorial Manager

In the brief lifespan of the Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT<=> section, the popular boundary-breaking category which spawned the NEXT WEEKEND film festival, the program has been strictly limited to feature-length films. Last night, on Day 2 of NEXT WEEKEND at Sundance Cinemas in Los Angeles, short films made the case that they inhabit the same blue collar, daring region of cinema that defines NEXT <=>.

In collaboration with YouTube, NEXT WEEKEND presented a shorts program that showcased a robust slate of films from 14 leading channels on the video-sharing website. Aptly titled YouTube Shorts @ NEXT WEEKEND, highlights ranged from CollegeHumor’s hysterical challenge to anti-gay activists with Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends, to a more thoughtful contemplation on the transitory nature of life in Ze Frank’s The Time You Have (In Jelly Beans)

Vice, the multi-platform arts and culture magazine offered two documentary style shorts, Death of the American Hobo, examining the continual deterioration of traditional hobo life (train hopping) since the first half of the 20th century, and Noisey’s (the Vice music channel) The Only Record Store in Mauritania, which seeks out the lone record store in the remote West African country. 

Finally, Sarah Silverman made a handful of sporadic appearances throughout the program with her enlightening Voices of Learning series, which presents words of wisdom on any array of topics in a brief montage sequence, and Epic Rap Battles of History crafted a lyrical showdown between maligned Russian leaders Grigori Rasputin, Vladimir Lenin, and Vladimir Putin.

Still craving more shorts? Tickets are still available to the NEXT Shorts Program screening at Sundance Cinemas on Sunday, August 11. 

 

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Sundance Institute Piloting Direct Individual Support for Mediamakers Through the Sundance Institute | Humanities Sustainability Fellowship

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life in general, and halted production and distribution for many creatives, the nonfiction field was plagued by issues of sustainability. For several years, sustainability has been an urgent and vigorous topic of study, debate, and organizing, as more and more filmmakers find it difficult, if not impossible, to make a living solely on the basis of their creative work. 

In Memoriam: Diane Weyermann (1955–2021)

A singular force within the documentary film world with a global reach, Diane Weyermann passed away at age 66 after battling cancer. Over the course of her 30-year career as a funder and an executive, her work elevated the documentary form and expanded its cultural impact.

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