From intimate shorts that unconventionally dive deep into crucial issues like toxic masculinity and cultural division, to an eccentric love story that uses relevant details to explore what happiness and freedom means to each one of us, the 2022 Sundance Film Festival is stacked with unique voices and stories. Our Meet The Artist video series on YouTube takes you directly into the minds of the storytellers. It’s a series about the directors featured in the Sundance Fest submitted by the directors themselves, designed to take a deeper look into the films that will be premiering at the 2022 Festival.
Go behind the scenes with the filmmakers as they share the inspiration behind their projects. Every story is inspired by an experience — whether it’s a cultural happening, a significant family moment, or an incident that impacts an entire industry.
Through these brief videos that feature exclusive interviews, directors and writers like Victor Gabriel, Riley Stearns, Isabel Castro, and many more, share how they gained the inspiration to develop stories that will truly resonate with fellow artists and audiences alike.
Directors Eva Longoria Bastón and W. Kamau Bell discuss creating their documentaries that touch on timely, topical subjects like the schism that was created in the Latino community by two of boxing’s biggest superstars as well as the crimes and legacy of Bill Cosby.
There’s no better way to prepare for this year’s Festival than to submerge yourself in the nearly 150 director videos now available on YouTube. Here are just a few to get you excited for Sundance 2022.
Victor Gabriel, Hallelujah
U.S. Live Action Shorts
A short film about two uncles forced to take care of their nephew in Compton, California, Hallelujah tells the story of building a family with no guidance.
“To me,” says Gabriel, “Hallelujah is really about black men experiencing trauma, grief, and also laughter and humor while deciding, ‘what does it mean for us to be men? What does it mean for us to do this with no help?’”
Eva Longoria Bastón, La Guerra Civil
La Guerra Civil is a documentary that covers the epic rivalry between Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez, two iconic boxers in the ’90s.
Director Eva Longoria Bastón explains how the film shows us that the battle between these two legends was about more than just boxing. “It takes us closer into a fascinating slice of the latino experience in the process,” says Bastón.
Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan, The Headhunter’s Daughter
International Live Action Shorts
The short film, The Headhunter’s Daughter, is about an aspiring country singer from the Cordillera region of the Philippines who travels to a bustling city to audition for a country music show.
“In this film we see her traverse the post-colonial world,” says director Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan. “And we see that through the eyes and perspective of an Indigenous person of the Philippines. It was important for us to make this film with a community that we have in our hometown, as well as people who share the same identity as me.”
Riley Stearns, Dual
U.S. Dramatic Competition
In Riley Stearns’s third feature which stars Aaron Paul and Karen Gillan, a young woman opts for a cloning procedure after finding out she has a terminal disease. But when she makes a recovery, she and her clone are ordered to a duel to the death, as there cannot be two of them existing at the same time.
“I’m looking forward to figuring out how I talk about Dual,” says director Riley Stearns. “I can’t begin to describe how much everyone put of themselves into this film.”
Kamau Bell, We Need to Talk About Cosby
The four-episode docuseries, We Need to Talk About Cosby, follows the life, career and crimes of actor/comedian Bill Cosby. Director and Executive Producer W. Kamau Bell talks about growing up under the umbrella of Cosby’s influence and how that impacted his decision to develop the docuseries.
“I became a stand up comedian largely because of Bill Cosby. So when I found out like we all found out, I didn’t know what to do with that,” Bell says. “I believe the women. This work reflects that, but it also reflects a bigger discussion to have about what we do with the art when the artist is not who we thought they were.” The docuseries will be featured on Showtime, but not before it premieres at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Maziyar Khatam, Bump
International Live Action Shorts
Bump is a short film about two guys who bump into each other in the middle of the street and that encounter morphs into a very heated and absurd confrontation.
“The film is very much about toxic masculinity,” says director Maziyar Khatam. “It’s about the insecurity many men feel in these kinds of situations. I wanted the film to kind of feel like the audience is a pedestrian watching from down the street.”