(Hong Kong – August 16, 2018) Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong returns for the fifth edition this September with a selection of 12 independent films, direct from this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A., along with the winning shorts of this year’s Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong Short Film Competition.
From September 20 to October 1, 2018, these 12 highly acclaimed and award-winning titles will premiere in Hong Kong, along with a variety of events including a Filmmakers’ Panel Discussion, Dolby Master Class, Producers Workshop and exhibition, making the festival a cannot-miss experience for film fans. Tickets are now available to The Metroplex VIP Metropolitans, and sales open to the general public on August 20.
12 Independent Films Premiere in Hong Kong
with Filmmakers in Attendance
This year’s lineup features a diverse genre of films, from heartwarming comedies to intense dramas addressing social issues, sexuality, and family matters; and documentaries grappling with critical social and political issues. The 12 films that will be featured in 2018 Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong are: Sorry to Bother You, Blindspotting, Clara’s Ghost, Hearts Beat Loud, Kailash, The Kindergarten Teacher, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Monsters and Men, Nancy, Searching, Three Identical Strangers and Wildlife.
The festival will open with the critically acclaimed comedy Sorry to Bother You, the directorial debut of hip-hop band The Coup frontman Boots Riley, starring Lakeith Standfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler and Armie Hammer. The film tells the story of a 30-something black telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Standfield), who has to cope with all the changes in life that come along with his sudden success in telemarketing using his “white voice.” Critics have called this film “wildly original”, “ferociously funny”, “wonderfully bizarre” and “explodes with infectious originality.” Sorry to Bother You will premiere on September 20 with director Boots Riley in attendance to meet the audience.
Other filmmakers who will attend the 2018 Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong include: Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting), Bridey Elliott (Clara’s Ghost), Derek Doneen (Kailash), Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post), Christina Choe (Nancy), and Sev Ohanian (producer of Searching). Filmmakers will be meeting the audiences at post-screening Q&A sessions, as well as participating in panel discussions and workshops throughout the opening weekend.
Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, has a message for Hong Kong audiences: “It’s always a pleasure to bring the latest independent voices – original and diverse – to Hong Kong’s dynamic and energetic audiences. The work we showcase at the Sundance Film Festival has been carefully crafted, and takes on new meaning as it is shared. As you approach the festival, my hope is that you embrace these stories, letting each become your own. My thanks to the artists, our partners at The Metroplex and all of our supporters from making it possible.”
Josephine Lam and Stuart Wang, Directors of The Metroplex, said, “Building on the immensely successful experiences we’ve had in the past four years, the fifth edition of Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong is back bigger and bolder than ever. As champions of a strong independent film culture in Hong Kong, we will continue to collaborate with Sundance Institute for the Short Film Competition, panel discussions and master class. We look forward to continuing our close partnership with Sundance Institute in growing this world-class film festival into an annual unmissable event for Hong Kong cinephiles.”
Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong Short Film Competition
Winners to be announced at opening ceremony
Organized by Sundance Institute and The Metroplex, the Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong Short Film Competition has now come to its third edition. Previous jury award winners Trumpt Man and Eye Bags were later presented at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where the directors attended to meet international audiences and fellow filmmakers from around the world.
This year’s submissions continue to display diversity and creativity of local talents. Our panel of judges from the Sundance Film Festival (John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival; Mike Plante, Senior Short Film Programmer; Kim Yutani, Director of Programming; John Nein, Senior Programmer) and Hong Kong (Wong Chun, Hong Kong filmmaker, Director of Mad World; Ernest Chan, Hong Kong film critic; and Jan Lam, Program Manager of The Metroplex) are to select the most outstanding shorts, which will screen during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong. Winners and the official short film lineup will be announced at the opening ceremony on September 20, 2018.
Special events –
Filmmakers’ Panel Discussion, Dolby Institute Master Class,
Producers Confidential Workshop, 8K 360 VR experience and
Women Power exhibition
Apart from an exciting lineup of films, Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong is also packed with events that aspiring filmmakers and cinephiles will definitely look forward to. In addition to the Filmmakers’ Panel Discussion that is held every year, Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong is also hosting a Producers Workshop and Master Class with Dolby Institute. Audience will not only be inspired through this lineup of films, but also through dialogues and interactions with filmmakers.
Dolby Institute Master Class –
Sound Design & Music for Independent Films: A case study on Blindspotting
Imaginative sound design and great music can transport viewers into a film. Dolby Atmos creates a fully immersive three-dimensional aural experience and delivers even the subtlest sound with breathtaking clarity, detail and depth. The groundbreaking technology is already widely used on big-budget blockbusters, but how can it be used by independent filmmakers telling intimate stories?
On September 22, Blindspotting director Carlos López Estrada, recipient of the Dolby Family Sound Fellowship, will share how sound and music and Dolby Atmos helped him tell his story. Master Class moderated by Glenn Kiser, Director of Dolby Institute.
Workshop: Producers Confidential
The road of taking a film from the conceptual stage to the big screen is a long one fraught with obstacles. Even if you get through pre-production and the actual shoot, there are still the technical challenges of post-production to overcome. How does a first-time filmmaker face the daunting task of making a film for the first time?
On September 22, Sev Ohanian, producer of Searching, together with Boots Riley and Michael Chow, the director and producer of Sorry to Bother You, will share their experiences and what they had to overcome to get their respective films on the big screen. This workshop is not to be missed by aspiring filmmakers and producers alike. Workshop moderated by Paul Federbush (International Director, Feature Film Program, Sundance Institute).
Filmmakers’ Panel Discussion – The Story Lives in You
On September 23, filmmakers Christina Choe (Nancy, 2018 Sundance Film Festival Waldo Salt Screenwriting Prize), Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post, 2018 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, US Dramatic Competition), Bridey Elliot (Clara’s Ghost), and Derek Doneen (Kailash, 2018 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, US Documentary Competition) will discuss their creative process as writers, directors and sometimes actors, and share their stories of how they brought their stories to the big screen. Panel moderated by John Nein (Senior Programmer, Sundance Film Festival).
8K per eye stereoscopic VR film – Your Spiritual Temple Sucks
Experience the surreal sensation of 8K stereoscopic virtual reality (VR) with Your Spiritual Temple Sucks, the first ever 8K stereoscopic VR film made in Taiwan. Audience can join protagonist Mr. Chang on his journey to his “Spiritual Temple”, a place that represents one’s destiny, where he attempts to tidy up the temple, in order to resolve his messy problems in real life.
Taiwan VR studio Funique built their own VR player to play 8K 360 content and develop another “Central Control System” software around that to allow one server computer to control and synchronize 8K Stereo VR content on up to 100 client computers.
Apart from 8K screening quality, a “Spiritual Temple” will also be recreated in the cinema to present an immersive cinematic experience.
Women Power exhibition
From September 15 to October 1, 2018, Women Power exhibition will take place at the EMax atrium area, introducing stories of the extraordinary women who are featured in the upcoming Sundance Friday: Women Power program.
Admission fee per person for the above activities are HKD90 (Dolby Master Class), HKD120 (Workshop: Producers Confidential) and HKD30 (Filmmakers’ Panel Discussion and Your Spiritual Temple Sucks). Tickets can be purchased via hk.sundance.org.
The Metroplex x Deliveroo
Sundance Popcorn Combo delivered to your doorstep
Revisiting some Sundance classics at home before the festival kicks off in September? The Metroplex partners up with food delivery company Deliveroo to enhance the enjoyment with the Sundance Popcorn Combo. From August 16 to October 1, 2018, customers can order the combo via Deliveroo everyday during 12noon to 10pm. Sundance Popcorn Combo (HK$55) includes a Sundance popcorn and a bottle of 600ml Pepsi; and the Sundance Hotdog Popcorn Combo (HK$85) includes a Sundance popcorn, hotdog and a bottle of 600ml Pepsi.
2018 Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kongpriority booking for The Metroplex VIP Metropolitans is now available, and opens to the general public on August 20. Tickets can be purchased at The Metroplex Box Office, The Metroplex Internet Ticketing (www.metroplex.com.hk) and The Metroplex iPhone and Android Apps Ticketing (HKD8 handling fee will be charged for each ticket purchased online or via Apps).
Film ticket price: Adult – HKD90; Student/Child/Senior – HKD80. Become a VIP Metropolitan to enjoy 20% discount on single tickets and 30% discount on special package (includes 1 ticket for each of the 12 feature films).
The 2018 Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong is co-organized by The Metroplex and Sundance Institute; with the support of the following parties –
|Supporting Sponsor:||Utah Office of Tourism and Film|
|Official Sound Partner:||Dolby|
|Official Post Provider:||Standard Digital|
|Official Providers:||Fiji Water;
|Official Hotel:||East Hong Kong|
|Media Partners:||Hong Kong Movie;
|Friends of Festival:||Barco;
Hong Kong Film Development Council;
Hong Kong Theatres Association Ltd; and
U.S. Consulate General for Hong Kong and Macau
Sorry to Bother You (Director: Boots Riley) Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), a 30-something black telemarketer with self-esteem issues, discovers a magical selling power living inside of him. Suddenly he’s rising up the ranks to the elite team of his company, which sells heinous products and services. The upswing in Cassius’s career raises serious red flags with his brilliant girlfriend, Detroit (Tessa Thompson), a sign-twirling gallery artist who is secretly a part of a Banksy-style collective called Left Eye. But the unimaginable hits the fan when Cassius meets the company’s cocaine-snorting, orgy-hosting, obnoxious, and relentlessly optimistic CEO, Steve Lift (Armie Hammer). OPENING FILM / HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Sorry to Bother You –
Blindspotting (Director: Carlos López Estrada) Collin is trying to make it through his final days of probation for an infamous arrest he can’t wait to put behind him. Always by his side is his fast-talking childhood bestie, Miles, who has a knack for finding trouble. They grew up together in the notoriously rough Oakland, a.k.a. “The Town,” which has become the new trendy place to live in the rapidly gentrifying Bay Area. But when Collin’s chance for a fresh start is interrupted by a life-changing missed curfew, his friendship with Miles is forced out of its comfortable buddy-comedy existence, and the Bay boys are set on a spiraling collision course with each other. HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Blindspotting –
Clara’s Ghost (Director: Bridey Elliott) Actor Ted Reynolds and Clara, his scattered, homemaker wife, welcome their twenty-something daughters—a pair of former child stars—back to their Connecticut home so Ted and the girls can be in a family-themed photo shoot for an airplane magazine. While celebrating their dog’s birthday with amiable drug dealer Poo Poo, the vodka-loving clan’s banter becomes increasingly bitter and petty, and they devolve into a drunken mess. Meanwhile, a specter only Clara can see urges her to confront her self-centered family. HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Clara’s Ghost –
Hearts Beat Loud (Director: Bridey Elliott) As single dad Frank (Nick Offerman) prepares to send hardworking daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) off to UCLA pre-med, he also reluctantly realizes he has to accept that his own record-store business is failing. Hoping to stay connected with his daughter through their shared love of music, he urges her to turn their weekly “jam sesh” into an actual band. Channeling Sam’s resistance into a band name, they unexpectedly find We’re Not a Band’s first song turning into a minor Spotify hit, and they use their songwriting efforts to work through their feelings about the life changes each of them faces. HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Hearts Beat Loud –
Kailash (Director: Derek Doneen) Hidden inside overcrowded factories around the world, countless children are forced into slave labor due to rising global demands for cheap goods. With the help of a covert network of informants, Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and his dedicated team carry out daring raids to rescue and rehabilitate imprisoned children. Using hidden cameras and playing the role of buyers at the factory to gain access, we watch Kailash take on one of his most challenging missions to date: finding Sonu, a young boy trafficked to Delhi for work who has been missing for eight months. Now his father dreams of Sonu coming home. U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary / HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Kailash –
The Kindergarten Teacher (Director: Sara Colangelo) Stuck in Staten Island, married to a kind but oblivious husband, and living with kids that mostly ignore her, 40-year-old Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal) plods through her days teaching kindergarten with growing numbness. Her one source of joy is an evening poetry class across the bay in Lower Manhattan. But one day everything changes—Lisa discovers that a five-year-old boy in her class may be the poet she can only dream of being. She becomes fascinated. Could this child be a prodigy? A Mozart? Fascination turns to obsession as Lisa pushes boundaries to protect the boy from a banal life she knows too well. In a harrowing climax, Lisa risks her career, her family, and her freedom to nurture his genius and possibly tap into her own. Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic / HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of The Kindergarten Teacher –
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Director: Desiree Akhavan) Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) looks the part of a perfect high school girl. But after she’s caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night, Cameron is quickly shipped off to a conversion therapy center that treats teens “struggling with same-sex attraction.” At the facility, Cameron is subjected to outlandish discipline, dubious “de-gaying” methods, and earnest Christian rock songs—but this unusual setting also provides her with an unlikely gay community. For the first time, Cameron connects with peers, and she’s able to find her place among fellow outcasts. U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic / HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of The Miseducation of Cameron Post –
Monsters and Men (Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green) One night, in front of a bodega in Brooklyn’s Bed–Stuy neighborhood, Manny Ortega witnesses a white police officer wrongfully gun down a neighborhood street hustler, and Manny films the incident on his phone. Now he’s faced with a dilemma: release the video and bring unwanted exposure to himself and his family, or keep the video private and be complicit in the injustice? U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Outstanding First Feature / HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Monsters and Men –
Nancy (Director: Christina Choe) Nancy is a 35-year-old temp living with her mom and cat in a modest home in a modest town. She is also an aspiring writer whose submissions are consistently rejected by the likes of the Atlantic and the Paris Review. To make up for these failures and the invisibility she feels, Nancy spins elaborate lies and hoaxes under pseudonyms on the internet. When she encounters a couple whose 5-year-old daughter went missing 30 years ago, fact and fiction begin to blur in Nancy’s mind, and she becomes increasingly convinced these strangers are her real parents. Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic / HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Nancy –
Searching (Director: Aneesh Chaganty) After a five-minute sequence of the Kim family’s online activity that beautifully relays a decade of their shared lives, Searching drops us into the current online existence of family patriarch David and daughter Margot, a high school freshman. Parenting mainly through iMessages and quick FaceTime chats, David is initially more annoyed than concerned when a series of his texts go unreturned, but he soon realizes Margot has gone missing. While a helpful detective searches for Margot out in the real world, David grasps at rediscovering his daughter in an unfamiliar online landscape as he searches through the traces she left behind on her laptop. Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize / Audience Award: NEXT, Presented by Adobe / HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Searching –
Three Identical Strangers (Director: Tim Wardle) New York, 1980: Three complete strangers—Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman—make the astounding discovery that they are identical triplets. Separated at birth, adopted, and raised by three different families, the 19-year-olds are reunited by chance. Their story sets the tabloids on fire, and the triplets suddenly become famous around the world. The brothers forge a relationship and become fast friends. They move in together in a swinging bachelor pad and open a restaurant that skyrockets to success. The toast of Manhattan, the triplets are living the high life. But their fairy-tale reunion sets off a chain of events that ultimately unearths an extraordinary and sinister secret that could answer controversial questions at the heart of human behavior. HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Three Identical Strangers –
Wildlife (Director: Paul Dano) Fourteen-year-old Joe is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry—a housewife and a golf pro—in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job—and his sense of purpose—he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother’s struggle as she tries to keep her head above water. HONG KONG PREMIERE
Trailer of Wildlife –
About Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new 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. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Mudbound, Get Out, The Big Sick, Strong Island, Blackfish, Top of the Lake, Winter’s Bone, The Wolfpack, Dear White People, Trapped, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
About The Metroplex
In 2014 The Metroplex opened its doors to the public as a state-of-the-art 9 screen multiplex at the heart of Eastern Kowloon. The Metroplex is a self-operated independent cinema under Hopewell Holdings Limited, showing a wide range of films from Hollywood blockbusters, international award-winning pictures, film festivals, local, specialty and independent films. Located in one of the Group’s investment properties, E-Max of Kowloonbay International Trade and Exhibition Centre (KITEC), The Metroplex has the flexibility in cross platform entertainment such as film/music festivals, live streaming concerts and shows, multimedia conferences, and many other events of similar genre. For more details, please visit www.metroplex.com.hk.