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Category: Artist Spotlight

No Pain, No Gain: What Goes Down in the Editing Room

Each year The Feature Film Program (FFP) supports more than 50 new projects across various stages of development, production, and post-production. This month, we’re highlighting the ways in which the FFP supports the crucial creative collaboration between directors and editors through the Sally Menke Memorial Editing Fellowship and the Editing Intensive, which took place earlier this summer in conjunction with our annual Directors Lab.Honoring the memory of beloved Sundance Institute mentor and esteemed editor Sally Menke (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds), the annual Sally Menke Memorial Editing Fellowship supports an emerging narrative editor in advancing their craft and building their career.

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Sleigh Bells’ Derek Miller On Film, Music, and Sliding Into Alex Ross Perry’s DMs

It’s kind of fun to envision a band like Sleigh Bells scoring a film: Alexis Krauss’ teasing, silky vocals strewn across Derek Miller’s shattering guitar riffs and a barrage of beats. The duo’s penchant for pitting seductive melodies against hardcore arrangements often conjures its own powerful, albeit chaotic, imagery. With last year’s music video for “I Can Only Stare,” off their LP Jessica Rabbit, we got a feel for what that film and music pairing might look like.

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Esteban Cruz Orozco: “La Siembra”

As incoherent as it may sound, on September 8, 2016, I was fortunate enough to be sick at home. I was missing out on an important rehearsal for a live streaming (an assignment for college) because the doctor had given me a three-day order to stay at home, as I was on the border of getting pneumonia. I was feeling very badly.

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Rise Up: It’s Time for Native Nations to Take Back Our Voice

Jessie Littlebird is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is a 2017 Sundance Institute Full Circle Fellow, a program aimed at supporting the next generation of Native American storytellers. This blog was originally published on Pyragraph.I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Sundance Film Festival this year after being chosen as a Full Circle Fellow through Sundance’s Native and Indigenous Program.

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A Syrian Playwright Brings His Work to Life in Germany

Coming into Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Residency in Germany, I thought my play would require some adjustments – crossing off some ideas, adding a few details. But I thought mostly that it was almost done and that this residency would help me refine it. I thought one piece was missing to complete the puzzle; turned out, a lot of pieces were placed upside down and needed relocation.

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‘Casting JonBenet’: Director Kitty Green Isn’t Here to Crack a Cold Case

Before her film debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and before it was made available to millions of homes and devices last week via Netflix, director Kitty Green met with Sundance.org to discuss Casting JonBenet. It’s the second feature for the Australian born filmmaker, following Ukraine Is Not a Brothel, which tracked a group of topless feminist activists in Ukraine whose efforts at social change seemed undermined by the shadowy figures who had orchestrated and funded their rise.

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‘All These Sleepless Nights’: The Party Never Stops in Poland

All These Sleepless Nights opens Friday, April 7, at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles before expanding throughout the country. The following interview was originally published during the film’s premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The music pounds, young people flirt and dance and mope and opine, and the camera swings all around them, doing more than just watch.

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A Ukrainian Refugee’s Ode to Cuba Comes to the Stage in Havana

Librettist Elise Thoron and composer Frank London’s new opera “Hatuey: Memory of Fire” premieres in Havana this March. Below they retrace their journey at the Sundance Institute Theatre Program’s residency at Ucross, their recent rehearsals, and the cultural significance of opening their play in Cuba.
Sitting having a daiquiri at the Nacional Hotel, gazing at the vast sea, down the Malecon with palm trees golden in afternoon sun, words from our new Cuban nightclub opera Hatuey Memoria del Fuego float in our head: “S’z himl un vaser un shtilkayt in bloy…” (Sky and water and stillness in blue…) Our hero Oscar was a young poet who came to Havana from the frozen steppe of the Ukraine.

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Shaking Things Up with Sundance Ignite Filmmaker Olivia Peace

Before finding out that I’d been accepted into the Sundance Ignite Fellowship program, I was at a bit of a crossroads in my filmmaking career.I’d just graduated with a film degree from Northwestern University and my first foray into the work world wasn’t exactly what I’d expected. Transitional periods can be lonely.

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“Breathe In, Breathe Out” with Sachin Dharwadker

Sundance. Since the Festival’s humble beginnings in 1978, the name has become synonymous with boundary-pushing filmmaking of all shapes and forms — to such an extent that a common goal amongst aspiring independent filmmakers is to make it there, someday. As the Festival has grown in size and scope, however, “getting into Sundance” has become an increasingly difficult proposition for that particular demographic, especially as digital filmmaking tools have given more people than ever the ability to make a movie.

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