The Climb, photo by Zach Kuperstein; Park City’s Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival, photo by Stephen Speckman
PARK CITY, UTAH — Sundance Institute today announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Sony Pictures Classics and Trafalgar Releasing: on January 26, the Utah premiere of The Climb, screening in the Spotlight category of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, will be simulcast across ten cinemas across the U.S., with the following Q&A simulcast live from The Ray Theatre in Park City, enabling independent film fans in markets nationwide to participate in the buzz of Festival from afar.
The Climb, directed by Michael Angelo Covino and written by Covino and Kyle Marvin, is based on Covino’s short film of the same name, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The feature-length expansion is the story of Kyle and Mike, best friends who share a close bond—until Mike sleeps with Kyle’s fiancée. A portrait of a tumultuous but enduring relationship between two men across many years of laughter, heartbreak, and rage, The Climb won the Coup de Coeur Prize after its premiere in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, and also screened at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. More information on the film is available here, and the film’s trailer is available here.
“We’re thrilled to co-create this innovative approach to amplify this remarkable film,” said John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. “We’ve followed The Climb from as the filmmakers evolved it from Sundance short to Cannes premiere, and are excited to share the live excitement of a Sundance Film Festival screening with a broader audience, in real time.”
“This pilot program is one of many ways Sundance Institute is exploring new ideas to showcase bold, independent work beyond the traditional bounds of our Festival,” said Keri Putnam, the Institute’s Executive Director. “Collaborations like this the underline Sundance’s mission of supporting independent artists and introducing audiences to new work as technology and culture evolve.”
“Going to Sundance to watch movies is a truly unique and special experience,” said Covino and Marvin. “We’re beyond excited that people around the country will be able to share in that experience without the altitude. We’re grateful that Sundance thought of us for this innovative approach to how a festival can be experienced.”
Sony Pictures Classics Co-Presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard said, “Sundance has always been at the forefront of introducing new cinema and artists to audiences, and we are excited for this unique partnership to share The Climb and the festival experience live with fans across the country. Michael Angelo Covino’s journey with The Climb began as a short at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and it feels natural to come full circle with this special event in Park City.”
Kymberli Frueh, SVP Programming and Acquisitions for Trafalgar Releasing has added: “Trafalgar Releasing is delighted to collaborate with Sundance Institute and Sony Pictures Classics on this Sundance Film Festival first, presenting The Climb and live Q&A to audiences in select cinemas across the U.S. allowing more people than ever to experience this iconic festival.”
The participating theatres are Bow Tie Cinemas Harbour 9 (Annapolis, Maryland), Cedar Lee Theatre (Cleveland Heights, Ohio), Cinema Arts Theatre (Fairfax, Virginia), Dipson Amherst (Buffalo, New York), Harkins Theatres Tempe Marketplace 16 (Tempe, Arizona), Landmark’s Kendall Square Cinema (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema (Indianapolis, Indiana), Landmark’s Lagoon Cinema (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Landmark’s Ritz Five (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), and Prado Stadium 12 (Bonita Springs, Florida)
Tickets are on sale now. Sony Pictures Classics will release The Climb in Los Angeles and New York on March 20, 2020, followed by a national rollout.
The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Eighth Grade, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs and sex, lies, and videotape. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2020 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire; AT&T; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, Amazon Studios, DIRECTV, Dropbox, Netflix, Omnicom Group, Southwest Airlines®, Stella Artois®, WarnerMedia; Sustaining Sponsors – Audible, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Dell Technologies, Fire TV, GEICO, High West Distillery, Hulu, IMDbPro, Lyft, Unity Technologies, University of Utah Health; Media Sponsors
– The Atlantic, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Variety, The Wall Street Journal. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Partner seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and media to create and thrive. 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 Co//ab, a digital community platform, brings 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. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as The Farewell, Late Night, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Eighth Grade, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, RBG, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Top of the Lake, Winter’s Bone, Dear White People, Little Miss Sunshine, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, State of the Union, Indecent, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
About Sony Pictures Classics
Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992—which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world. Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 39 Academy Awards® (35 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 175 Academy Award® nominations (149 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for Call Me By Your Name, Whiplash, Amour, Midnight in Paris, An Education, Howards End, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.
About Trafalgar Releasing
Trafalgar Releasing is the global leader in event cinema distribution. A subsidiary of Trafalgar Entertainment, Trafalgar Releasing’s global operations include production, acquisition, marketing and distribution of specialised content to over 8,000 cinemas in more than 120 countries worldwide.
A full spectrum of releases includes high arts (The Metropolitan Opera, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House), award winning theatre (The King and I: from the London Palladium, An American In Paris, Les Misérables: The Staged Concert), iconic moments (Monty Python’s Life of Brian 40th Anniversary, David Bowie is happening now, They Shall Not Grow Old), heritage music acts (Roger Waters The Wall, David Gilmour Live in Pompeii, Metallica & San Francisco Symphony: S&M2, Depeche Mode: SPIRITS in the Forest) and contemporary music sensations (BTS’ BRING THE SOUL: THE MOVIE, Gorillaz: REJECT FALSE ICONS, Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams).
Headquartered in London, the company also has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Denver. More information about Trafalgar Releasing can be found at www.Trafalgar-Releasing.com.
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