Yesterday, March 4th, coincidentally the only calendar date that doubles as a complete sentence, the Sundance Institute announced a new summer film festival to take place in Los Angeles from August 8th-11th. NEXT WEEKEND, intended to celebrate the "renegade spirit of independent filmmaking," will feature screenings, panels, parties, and workshops. The festival promises to bring eight unreleased feature films, including selections from Sundance's NEXT section and new feature films from elsewhere. There will also be a shorts program and the annual ShortsLab: Los Angeles, a half-day filmmaking workshop centered on short films.
The NEXT program (A.K.A. <=>) started at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010, claims to yield "stylistically adventurous films that take a bold approach to storytelling." To those local to Los Angeles, this event should feel familiar: it starts off at with an outdoor screening at Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary, moves to the Sundance Cinemas, and trickles out to other venues by the last day of the fest, including the Cinefamily, Aero Theater, and the MOCA.
It's not exactly like Los Angeles is parched for movies, but this looks like fun. As someone from California who hasn't had the opportunity to go to Sundance myself, I gladly welcome the influx. I think some really great films have come from the NEXT section (Bellflower, The Off Hours, Compliance), so I'm happy to have another venue to catch up with the latest. Now, if only it didn't conflict with this 20th anniversary (DS9) Star Trek convention.
Robert Redford gives us the spiel:
The best part of independent filmmaking is the freedom to tell your stories your own way, to take risks and not be beholden to convention of any kind. At the core of NEXT WEEKEND are artists that are taking risks and pushing boundaries. As such, it's fitting that Sundance Cinemas will be the home for this festival and these films.
What do you guys think about this latest effort by the Sundance Institute? Angelenos: Will you be attending?