Picturehouse Central, 9 July 2023 — Sundance Institute and Picturehouse announced tonight that the 2023 Sundance Film Festival: London’s Audience Award is presented to Past Lives written and directed by Celine Song. The film is produced by David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler and Christine Vachon, and stars Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro. StudioCanal will release the film in UK cinemas from 8 September.
Past Lives follows Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, who are wrested apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life, in this heartrending modern romance.
Past Lives had its UK premiere at the 10th edition of Sundance Film Festival: London following its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January. Festival-goers voted in the thousands for their favourite films across the four-day event at Picturehouse Central for this Audience Award.
The Sundance Film Festival: London ran from 6 to 9 July 2023 at Picturehouse Central, presenting a selection of feature films and documentaries from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival held in Utah, specially curated for London by the Sundance Institute programming team in collaboration with Picturehouse.
Numerous filmmakers and actors attended the festival to introduce their films and participate in audience Q&As, including Charlotte Regan, Harris Dickinson and Lola Campbell for the UK premiere of Scrapper; Ira Sachs and Ben Whishaw for French romance drama Passages; Andrew Durham and Emilia Jones for coming-of-age drama Fairyland; directors Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou for their horror-thriller Talk To Me; Lío Mehiel, star of Mutt; director Celine Song of Past Lives and pioneer of queer cinema, Gregg Araki, with three retrospective films showcased:The Doom Generation, Three Bewildered People In The Night and Mysterious Skin.
Documentary makers in attendance included Anton Corbijn with Squaring the Circle (The story of Hipgnosis); Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn with their emotionally vibrant documentary Going Varsity in Mariachi; Maximilien Van Aetryck and Axel Danielson with their engrossing Fantastic Machine and Bethann Hardison and Frédéric Tcheng with their documentary Invisible Beauty which looks back at the incredible impact Hardison has had over the last five decades as an activist, model and muse. The festival closed on 9 July with the UK premiere screening of You Hurt My Feelings from acclaimed filmmaker Nicole Holofcener, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies.
The festival’s second dedicated Industry Programme successfully ran alongside the festival’s public screenings and events. During four days of industry-focused talks and events, this robust strand welcomed hundreds of members of the UK film industry to build their personal networks, understand industry trends, discover new work and share their own unique storytelling passions with other independent filmmakers. Each industry passholder had exclusive access to a host of industry-only events during the festival, including intimate roundtable meetings, keynotes, masterclasses, themed panel discussions and daily networking drinks.
The festival was thrilled to host U.S. producer Anthony Bregman, who premiered three features at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January, to deliver the in-person industry keynote talk. Other top-level industry speakers included Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente, Sundance Film Festival Director Eugene Hernandez, and Sundance Director of Programming Kim Yutani; top UK funders and commissioners including Mia Bays (BFI Film Fund); Alice Whittemore (Film4), Eva Yates (BBC Film) and Andrew Orr (Sky Cinema); directors Prano Bailey Bond and Alice Lowe; screenwriter Tony Grisoni; script consultant Kate Leys; producers Carlo Cresto-Dina, Matt Wilkinson, Faye Ward, Emily Morgan, Sarah Brocklehurst and Farah Abushwesha plus many more.
Sundance Film Festival: London 2023 is supported by: Headline Partner – Audible. Lead Partner – United Airlines. Supporting Partners – Adobe and State of Utah. Event Partner – Mubi. Drinks Partner – TRIP CBD. Media Partner – Screen International. Hotel Partner – The May Fair Hotel.
The Sundance Film Festival: London industry programme is presented by United Airlines. Additional partners include: Adobe, Audible, BBC Film, BFI Network, BIFA, Dark Matter, Doc Society, Film4, Lee & Thompson, Netflix, Nowness, Screen International and ScreenSkills.
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About Sundance Institute
As a champion and curator of independent stories, the nonprofit Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists across storytelling media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, 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 Collab, a digital community platform, brings a global cohort of working artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect 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. Through the Sundance Institute artists programs we have supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Big Sick, Bottle Rocket, Boys Don’t Cry, Boys State, Call Me By Your Name, Clemency, CODA, Drunktown’s Finest, The Farewell, Fire of Love, Flee, The Forty-Year-Old Version, Fruitvale Station, Get Out, Half Nelson, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hereditary, Honeyland, The Infiltrators, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Little Woods, Love & Basketball, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Mudbound, Nanny, Navalny, O.J.: Made in America, One Child Nation, Pariah, Raising Victor Vargas, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, RBG, Sin Nombre, Sorry to Bother You, The Souvenir, Strong Island, Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Swiss Army Man, Sydney, A Thousand and One, Top of the Lake, Walking and Talking, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and Zola. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.
About Picturehouse Cinemas
Picturehouse is an award-winning UK film company incorporating cinema, distribution and home entertainment, formed in 1989 to challenge the multiplex model. Its flagship cinema Picturehouse Central is situated in the heart of London’s West End, with the rest of its 25 venues located across England and Scotland.
Picturehouse’s architecturally-unique cinemas sit in the heart of local neighbourhoods and cater to a diverse and wide-ranging audience. They provide bespoke food and drink offerings across their cafés, bars, restaurants and members bars. The programme is curated to champion films made for all ages, backgrounds and walks of life, from quality mainstream film through to foreign-language and documentary features, as well as live event cinema. 35mm and 70mm presentations are also offered in some locations.