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Category: Artist Spotlight

6 Sundance-Supported Artists to Watch This Black History Month

In a month dedicated to observing the achievements of black Americans, we are witnessing the emergence and successes of Sundance alum Ryan Coogler’s new film Black Panther. The Marvel film recorded the second-biggest four-day opener of all time at the domestic box office with $242 million, while grossing $427 million worldwide.
The film marks an indelible moment for an industry that fails to fully reflect on screen the vivid diversity that exists off of it.

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​Director Tim Wardle on ‘Three Identical Strangers’: “The Single Best Documentary Story I Had Ever Come Across”

In 1980, a 19-year-old moves away from home to a small college in upstate New York. Upon arriving, strangers wave hello, approach him to chat, and treat him as if they already know him. The teenager soon realizes that someone who looks exactly like him attended that school the year before, and he discovers his identical brother, whom he was separated from at birth.

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An Interview with Stephen Maing, Director of ‘Crime + Punishment’

It’s not often that a documentary film achieves both newsworthy timeliness and long-term, long-form, longitudinal depth. But that’s exactly what Stephen Maing pulls off with Crime + Punishment, a project that’s been years in the making, following more than a dozen characters, comprising over a thousand hours of footage, and yet the issues at hand and its attendant legal proceedings, couldn’t be more active or immediate. Building off of several shorter films made earlier in the decade, Maing (whose previous feature, High Tech, Low Life premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival) spent time with New York City police officers who had decided to go public with their frustrations over what they were being asked to do—effectively meet arrest quotas that target citizens of minority communities, even though such quotas have been deemed illegal.

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Chloe Sevigny Delivers a Smack in the Face to Patriarchy with ‘Lizzie’

Since her debut as an HIV-infected teen in Larry Clark’s button-pushing drama Kids in 1995, Chloe Sevigny has portrayed nearly every type of character imaginable. The versatile actress/fashion icon has depicted the Midwestern girlfriend of a trans man in 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry, the dowdiest sister-wife of a polygamist on HBO’s series Big Love, a scheming Jane Austen social climber in 2016’s Love & Friendship, and even a legless nymphomaniac in FX’s American Horror Story.
Now she’s found a starring role to really sink her teeth into.

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Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellowship Year Two: An Oral History

A lot can happen in a year. For the filmmakers chosen as the second-ever cohort of the Art of Nonfiction Fellowship—the founding pillar of the Sundance Documentary Film Program’s Art of Nonfiction Initiative—it was a year that started with being admitted to the fellowship; continued with retreats in Marfa, Texas, and Sundance Resort; saw various films reach completion, stir to life, and steadily develop; and ended with the five of them sitting around a table on a late summer day in New York.
The Art of Nonfiction Fellowship is a pointedly atypical initiative in that it isn’t project-based—there’s no demand or expectation in terms of a particular project.

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Kawita Vatanayjankur Becomes the Machines Meant to Replace Us

Hussain Currimbhoy joined Sundance Institute in 2014 as a Festival programmer specializing in documentary feature films and New Frontier. He was previously the Director of Programming for the Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK.
I always had a crush on the art, artists, and stories I encountered from South East Asia — especially during my years in Perth, Australia, where news about films and filmmakers from the region often entered my world.

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When “It’s All In Your Head” Is The Diagnosis: Jennifer Brea and Laura Poitras on Portraying Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There are few attacks on the human psyche more disempowering than being told that your experience is invalid.
That’s where filmmaker Jennifer Brea found herself time and time again amid a desperate search for medical truths as she gradually fell more incapacitated by the symptoms of a mysterious illness. An active Harvard PhD student at the time, Brea was eventually rendered bedridden and motionless, an official diagnosis proving frustratingly elusive.

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