Sundance Film Festival 2021 – Latest Additions to Sundance Film Festival Talks & Events

Opening Night Welcome Details, Panel Additions; Patton Oswalt to Host Awards Night 

Festival Kicks Off Thursday, January 28th & Runs Through February 3rd

Sundance Institute today announced the latest additions to the programming slate of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday, January 28th at and via a network of Satellite Screens across the U.S.

Thursday evening’s Opening Night Welcome on the Festival platform, at 6pm MT, will feature remarks from Institute CEO Keri Putnam, Festival Director Tabitha Jackson, musical performances from Red Spirit and Rhiannon Giddens, and messages from Festival alumni. February 2’s Awards Night, whose juries were announced last week, will be hosted by actor and comedian Patton Oswalt, and feature special appearances from Alison Brie, Shira Haas and Diego Luna alongside the jurors.

“What makes Sundance, Sundance is of course more than simply the films,” said Jackson.

“We are excited that the conversations, provocations, performances, and celebration of this community are even richer this year because they are coming from so many different places and perspectives.”

Legal scholar and civil rights advocate Kimberlé W. Crenshaw moderates The Story of Us on Saturday, January 30, a conversation including Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Việt Thanh Nguyễn, about the construction, dissemination and deployment of the grand narrative of the United States, and the critical role of independent media in its retelling.

A new Music Speakeasy, Sound & Vision, presented by Southwest Airlines, will take place Monday, February 1; 9:00 p.m.– 9:45 p.m. Come together for an unconventional audio/visual experience featuring artists Bardo (Chicano Batman), Aliana Castillo, Ant Clemons, Blue DeTiger, Elissa Miekle, Enny, Frances Forever, Jensen McRae, Orion Sun, Tekno, Sofia Valdes and Viagra Boys, in an exclusive series of performances that will get everyone grooving from the comfort of their living rooms.

Participants have also been announced for the Institute’s Power of Story: Speculative Fiction is the Place conversation, presented by Netflix: Hannah Beachler (Production Designer, Black Panther), Jewelle Gomez (Author, The Gilda Sisters), Sophia Nahli Allison (Traveling the Interstitium with Octavia Butler) and Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki) will join moderator Jacqueline Stewart (Chief Artistic and Programming Officer, Academy Museum and TCM Host) for.

Additionally: Conjuring the Collective, the Womxn at Sundance Speakeasy, will feature a very special appearance by recording artist Brittany Howard, as well as poet Ryka Ayoti, alongside previously-announced appearances by poet Apiorkor, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison (Ailey), actor Marlee Matlin, and director Siân Heder (CODA), actor Rita Moreno (Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It), actor SOKO (Mayday, The Blazing World), with remarks from Institute Board Chair Pat Mitchell and board member Amy Redford. Collectives including Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Film Fatales, FWD-Doc and XRCoven will also participate.

More free content, including panels, talks and conversations from partners like AcuraSundanceTVChase Sapphire and Adobe, can be found in the Festival Village, alongside programming from our Satellite Screens. In the Artists Lounge, the Festival will host 15 events including daily artist meetups and even a special appearance by Lucy, an artificial intelligence who is technically an alum herself. Daily Artist Meetups, open to all and inspired by the Sundance Institute Collective’s ongoing Artist Roundtables, offer an intimate opportunity to break virtual bread with other members of our artist community. Join us and engage in conversation around technical and philosophical topics affecting the storytelling field. Each session will begin with a 15-minute provocation from a selection of Sundance artists and staff members, followed by an open discussion in breakout rooms where you will have an opportunity to meet other storytellers and contribute to the conversation.

Other Artists Lounge programs include the Native Forum Celebration, the Art of Editing Celebration, presented by Adobe, the Producers Celebration presented by Amazon Studios, as well as (among others):

Beyond the Film: Exploring Genre
Jan. 30. 3:00 pm MT
Moderated by Roxanne Benjamin and featuring the teams from Censor, Knocking, Violation and The Blazing World

Worldbuilding Toward 2030
Jan 31. 5:00 pm MT
In this interactive session, a selection of Sundance Film Festival artists will use 2020 as an inflection point to envision a radically aspirational future of their own design, through the lens of restoration for historically marginalized communities in the field and beyond.

Beyond the Film: Music-Driven Nonfiction
Feb 2nd 3:00 pm
Moderated by Morgan Neville and featuring the teams from The Sparks Brothers and Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

While passes for films have sold out, single tickets are still available — as is the Explorer Pass, which in addition to the complete Short films and Indie Series programs (US only)  provides global access to 2021 edition of New Frontier (including the Gallery space with its curated slate of work, the Cinema House, and Film Party environments where all pass-holders can connect as avatars via proximity audio and video chat for a truly innovative social experience.

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