LOS ANGELES, CA — Sundance Institute today announced the films and music acts that will headline the Sundance NEXT FEST summer festival August 7-10 in Los Angeles. NEXT FEST, headquartered at the Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, celebrates the intersection of film and music and the renegade spirit of independent artists. Tickets ($15-25) go on sale to Sundance Institute members today and all others tomorrow at sundance.org/next.
In addition to a 10th Anniversary screening of Napoleon Dynamite with Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery as the festival’s kickoff event on August 7, NEXT FEST will present the Los Angeles premieres of six films that first screened at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and offer unfettered creativity and fresh perspectives. The program features a zombie love story, an Iranian-set vampire movie, a modern tale of buried treasure, a thriller about a mysterious soldier, and films that explore the perils of artistic ambition amongst gang life in Watts and the literary world of New York respectively.
Each film screens once at the Theatre at Ace Hotel August 8-10 and will be paired with either a special music act that shares a complementary artistic sensibility or conversations that bring together filmmakers with those who inspired them. The Sundance Film Festival programming staff selected the films and music acts for NEXT FEST.
The festival is an extension of the popular NEXT <=> section at the Sundance Film Festival, which showcases stylistically adventurous and bold films, and builds on the Institute’s NEXT WEEKEND event, hosted in 2013.
John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “NEXT FEST is a continuation of our efforts to connect film-loving audiences with the next generation of independent filmmakers. The unique convergence of film and music enhances the experience of each and offers fresh insight into the talent and vision of these outstanding independent artists.”
Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “In the heart of one of the most creative cities in the world, NEXT FEST will launch a new wave of film and music talent into the artistic atmosphere. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, with its roots in cinematic trailblazing, will serve as the ideal hub for this cultural adventure.”
Sundance Institute members have access to a host of benefits related to NEXT FEST, including the ability to purchase tickets today, before they go on sale to the general public tomorrow. At the August 7 screening with Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, members will enjoy a reserved seating section and receive an exclusive tote bag, screenprinted live at the event by Hit + Run. Members are also invited to a special party during NEXT FEST and are eligible to win a prize package including a three-night stay at the Ace Hotel plus airfare. To join, visit sundance.org/membership.
Sundance NEXT FEST is supported by Principal Sponsors Acura and YouTube, which are both long-time sponsors of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Additional NEXT FEST sponsors include: Major – Kickstarter; Media – KCRW 89.9; and Supporting – Beachside Films, FilmL.A., Inc., Southwest Airlines and Stella Artois.
Thursday, August 7 — Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Napoleon Dynamite (Director: Jared Hess, Screenwriters: Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess) — From the rural town of Preston, Idaho, comes Napoleon Dynamite – a new kind of hero. He spends his days drawing magical beasts, working on his computer hacking skills to impress the chicks, and begrudgingly feeding his Grandma’s pet llama. When his friend Pedro runs for class president, Napoleon helps him triumph over adversity. The film premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Cast: Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Jon Gries, Sandy Martin, Efren Ramirez. Attending: Jerusha Hess, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries, Sandy Martin, Shondrella Avery, Aaron Ruell.
Friday, August 8, 8:00 p.m. — Theatre at Ace Hotel
Life After Beth / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he gets a second chance at love. Soon his whole world turns upside down… Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser.
Father John Misty — Father John Misty is the charismatic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and performer who released his debut album, Fear Fun in 2012 to universal praise. The acclaim, emboldened by his incredible live show, led to multiple sold-out tours and high profile TV performances on Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He is currently at work on his follow up, due in early 2015. NEXT FEST will feature a solo acoustic performance.
Saturday, August 9, 1:00 p.m. — Theatre at Ace Hotel
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter / U.S.A. (Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi. Winner of a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical Score at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Followed by a conversation between director David Zellner and co-screenwriter Nathan Zellner with special guest Werner Herzog.
Saturday, August 9, 4:45 p.m. — Theatre at Ace Hotel
Listen Up Philip / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry) — A story about changing seasons and changing attitudes, a newly accomplished writer faces mistakes and miseries affecting those around him, including his girlfriend, her sister, his idol, his idol’s daughter, and all the ex-girlfriends and enemies that lie in wait on the open streets of New York. Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce, Krysten Ritter, Josephine de La Baume.
Followed by a conversation between director Alex Ross Perry and Jason Schwartzman with special guest panelist Bret Easton Ellis.
Saturday, August 9, 8:30 p.m. — Theatre at Ace Hotel
Imperial Dreams / U.S.A. (Director: Malik Vitthal, Screenwriters: Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic) — A 21-year-old, reformed gangster’s devotion to his family and his future are put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles. Cast: John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho, Glenn Plummer, Keke Palmer, De’aundre Bonds. Winner of the Audience Award: Best of NEXT <=> at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
m.A.A.d. / U.S. A. (Director: Kahlil Joseph) — “I start in the middle of the sentence and move both directions at once.” – John Coltrane. Commissioned by Kendrick Lamar for his good kid, m.A.A.d city concert tour, Joseph creates a kaleidoscope of storylines and ideas that defy typical categorization to explore new languages and new forms. Cast: Kamar Bailey, Shenelle Bullock, Bijan Faby, Chris Lewis, Rykeis Tyson, Amir Zimmerman.
Tinashe — Tinashe does everything on her own terms. The stunning 21-year-old singer, songwriter and performer arrives with a distinct and dynamic vision of R&B punctuated by hip-hop attitude, pop flavor, rock swagger and electronica spark. It all comes to life vividly on Aquarius, her forthcoming full-length debut on RCA Records.
Sunday, August 10, 4:00 p.m. — Theatre at Ace Hotel
The Guest / U.S.A. (Director: Adam Wingard, Screenwriter: Simon Barrett) — A soldier on leave arrives at the home of a fallen comrade. Friendly and helpful, they welcome him in, but when people start mysteriously dying in town, mayhem ensues as their teenage daughter starts wondering if he’s responsible. Cast: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick, Chase Williamson, Brendan Meyer.
Followed by a conversation between director Adam Wingard and special guest panelist Nicolas Winding Refn.
Sunday, August 10, 7:45 p.m. — Theatre at Ace Hotel
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ana Lily Amirpour) — In the Iranian ghost town of Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, depraved denizens are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire. Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Dominic Rains, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnó, Rome Shadanloo.
Warpaint — Warpaint was formed in 2004 and comprises Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa. They recently released their self-titled second album to rave reviews. Rolling Stone described it as, “The perfect backdrop for your next midnight séance or moonlit dance party” and W Magazine said, “If the LA band’s first album was the sonic equivalent of falling into happy slumber, then its newly released follow-up is a beautifully lucid dream.”
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to connect audiences to their work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling as art and as a compelling and powerful way to inform, inspire and unite people. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
A loving reanimation of the former flagship movie house of United Artists, the Theatre at Ace Hotel serves Los Angeles’ burgeoning epicenter for art and modern entertainment with a prime setting for a wide array of events — from large-scale concerts to movie premieres, conferences, seminars, symposiums and other performances. Retrofitted with a state-of-the-art digital projection system and cinema sound, an independent, ultramodern live sound system, plus an elaborate contemporary stage lighting system, the Theatre can take on whatever fits within the confines of its dazzling proscenium — a much-needed bridge to the exciting future of Downtown Los Angeles.