The line-up for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival has been announced, and will see a format that will see the event take place on a Sundance-built and feature-rich online platform.
This year, the festival goes well beyond feature and short films, episodic work, and the VR/XR of New Frontier. Instead, it also encompasses a curated programme of free special events, conversations, and activities available to the public.
The Talks and Events, presented on the Sundance platform, include the festival’s new Opening Ceremony, Sundance Dailies, and The Big Conversation series. There will also be trademark gatherings at Cinema Café and the Power of Story, Awards Night and the concluding “It’s A Wrap” session.
Additional partner programming will take place in a bustling digital Festival Village, which includes Main Street, Satellite Screens and the Artist Lounge.
Audiences all over the world are invited to join in with the launch of a reimagined 2021 Sundance Film Festival, and connect with the Sundance community in advance of experiencing the Festival programme. During the Opening Ceremony, the audience can expect to hear from Festival Director Tabitha Jackson.
The Sundance Dailies will roll out each morning with host Tabitha Jackson, Utah correspondent JohnCooper, and an assortment of special guests.
The Sundance Dailies is a fun and informal download of the day ahead and what you missed the day before. Guests include: Eugenio Derbez (CODA); Rebecca Hall (Passing); Ed Helms (Together Together); Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein (How It Ends), and more.
The Big Conversation section tackles science, art, culture, and the movements that are fuelling the imaginations of today’s independent artists. A compelling selection of speakers discuss topics centred on the themes of this year’s programme, and explore broader trends in art and culture around the world.
In considering how artists make meaning of the world through their practice and their work, visitors are reminded that it is the big conversation that connects us to the big ideas.
One session will be named “Come Together”. That the first image of a black hole was achieved through a global network of synchronised radio observatories shows what humans can accomplish when they come together.
Beyond astronomy and across a myriad of fields, from space exploration and climatology to bioscience and virology (as the pandemic plainly illustrates), science and technology are propelled by collaboration, cooperation, and the breaking of barriers.
The session will explore, through the lens of film and television, what that cooperation means for human knowledge and our mutual survival. It will be moderated by Janna Levin,aTow Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College.
Another event will be “The Past In the Present: A Personal Journey through Race, History, and Filmmaking”.
James Baldwin’s words, “History is not the past, it’s the present”, reverberate throughout Raoul Peck’s work, his activism, and his remarkable filmmaking career. Peck joins Festival director Tabitha Jackson in a conversation about white supremacy, history, and creative expression.
It also covers his personal journey from the Academy Award–nominated I Am Not Your Negro, to his upcoming work Exterminate All the Brutes. The journey interrogates over 600 years of history, from the Native American genocide, to the systemised enslavement of Africans. It goes on to cover Hitler’s extermination camps, a history to which the present is inextricably bound.
As for Sundance Film Festival’s Awards Night Ceremony, the audience will see which projects were selected for juried and audience awards. The event will be live-streamed on the festival’s online screening platform, where viewers can join both the event and some very special presenters, to see who takes home top prizes in the Festival’s competition categories.
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past three decades, such as Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On The Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, and The Infiltrators.
The Festival is a programme of the non-profit Sundance Institute. As a champion and curator of independent stories for the stage and screen, the Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, film composing, and digital media to create and thrive.
Founded in 1981 by acclaimed actor Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programmes, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the US and internationally.