One of the things about Sundance that intimidates many people is how much is going on during the festival. How do you know what to prioritize and what to seek out?
Well, we find the best way to get answers to these questions is to listen to the experts.
Check out this conversation with Joana Vicente (Sundance Institute CEO), Eugene Hernandez (Sundance Film Festival Director and Head of Public Programming), and Kim Yutani (Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming), moderated by Jason Blum (CEO & Founder, Blumhouse; Sundance Institute Board of Trustees).
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What I loved about this chat was how it emphasized discovery. Not only in film sales, but also in first-time feature filmmakers who come to the festival to show the world what they've worked on in the past year.
The Sundance Film Festival has played a crucial role in launching the careers of several illustrious filmmakers. Quentin Tarantino's career trajectory took a significant turn with the premiere of Reservoir Dogs at the festival in 1992, a debut that garnered widespread acclaim.
Similarly, Steven Soderbergh's sex, lies, and videotape, screened in 1989, not only clinched the Audience Award at Sundance, but also marked a pivotal moment in the revival of independent cinema in the 1990s. Paul Thomas Anderson, another distinguished director, made his festival debut with Hard Eight (originally titled Sydney) in 1996, signaling the start of his remarkable career.
Ryan Coogler, who has since become a prominent figure in the industry, had his breakthrough with Fruitvale Station, winning both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 festival.
Finally, Christopher Nolan's first feature, Following, showcased in 1999, significantly elevated his standing in the film industry. These filmmakers represent just a few of the many who found early support and acclaim at Sundance, propelling their careers forward.
Of course, most people want to know about all the hot titles debuting at the fest.
The Sundance Film Festival 2024 features an array of exciting projects, highlighting the innovation in independent storytelling.
Key features and projects to look forward to include:
- Love Me: Starring Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun, is a high-concept romance set in a post-human world. It won the 2024 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.
- Handling the Undead: Directed by Thea Hvistendahl and featuring Renate Reinsve, this film adapts a cult classic horror novel about a mysterious phenomenon in Oslo that appears to resurrect the dead.
- My Old Ass: With Aubrey Plaza and Maisy Stella, directed by Megan Park and produced by Margot Robbie, this film explores a unique conversation between younger and older selves.
- Presence: A highly anticipated work by Steven Soderbergh, starring Julia Fox, marking Soderbergh's return to Sundance 35 years after his debut.
- Ghostlight: This film, directed by Alex Thompson and written by Kelly O’Sullivan, delves into the world of live theater, chronicling a construction worker's journey through grief.
- Hit Man: A mix of humor and depth by Richard Linklater, with Glen Powell playing a professor with a secret life as a fake hit man for the FBI.
- How to Have Sex: Directed by Molly Manning Walker, this film addresses teenage consent, focusing on three British girls on a Greek island holiday.
These films, part of a lineup that includes 82 feature-length films from 24 countries, showcase a diverse range of styles, perspectives, and genres, demonstrating Sundance's dedication to pioneering independent cinema.
What did you think of the talk in the video?
Let us know in the comments.