SUNDANCE 2022 - HALFWAY MARK DAY 1-5! - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, January 25, 2022



The 2022 Sundance Film Festival is already five days in, and a lot has happened from premiere screenings to panels and events hosted by the sponsors and industry majors. 

Here's an encapsulation of the first five days, Jan 20th-24th:

DAY 1:

Sundance Film Festival welcomed audiences to an action-packed first day of premiere screenings and conversations featuring some of the most notable visionaries in independent film, new media, and culture at large, including Jesse Eisenberg, Eva Longoria Bastón, Sam Green, Julianne Moore, Finn Wolfhard, Emma Stone, Dale Dickey and more. Kicking off the Festival’s first day with a press conference, Festival Director Tabitha Jackson was joined by Director of Programming Kim Yutani and Senior Programmers John Nein and Shari Frilot to tee-up what audiences can expect from the next ten days of Sundance. As a point of convergence and unity for the opening day, audiences were invited to the New Frontier Spaceship to experience 32 Sounds, an immersive audio-visual documentary experience from Award-winning documentarian Sam Green that enabled the Sundance community to connect together, as one.

The festival also conducted its customary opening day press conference and opening night welcome talk by Robert Redford. View link here: 

The film When You Finish Saving The World had its premiere and post-screening Q&A with director Jesse Eisenberg, and actors Julianne Moore and Emma Stone. 

DAY 2:

The second day of SFF 2022 saw premiere screenings and conversations featuring John Boyega, Elizabeth Banks, Regina Hall, Sigourney Weaver, Abi Damaris Corbin, Phyllis Nagy, Connie Britton, Colin Farrell, Hayley Lu Richardson, Wuumi Mosaku, Zoe Renee, Mariama Diallo, Chlose Okuno, Kogonada, and more.

Out of the gate, John Boyega shed light on his earnest portrayal of Brian Brown-Easley, a real-life Marine veteran impacted by PTSD in the 892 film panel; Phyllis Nagy discussed the importance of recognizing the humanity of women in the fight for reproductive rights alongside Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Wuumi Mosaku, and Grace Edwards in support of their film,   Call Jane. Finally, the evening left off with  Master Director, Mariama Diallo in conversation with her cast, Regina Hall and Zoe Renee, about racist underpinnings in the Ivy League system. 

DAY 3:

Day 3 welcomed premiere screenings and conversations including Emma Thompson, Karen Gillan, Amy Poehler, Aaron Paul, Lena Dunham, Kristine Froseth, Jon Bernthal, Scott Speedman, W. Kamau Bell, Nina Menkes, Riley Stearns, Daniel Hart, Saul Williams, Drum & Lace, Sophie Hyde, Katy Brand, Daryl McCormack, and more. 

Emma Thompson discussed her very intimate, vulnerable role in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande; Lena Dunham discussed how female sexuality is depicted on screen with the Sharp Stick cast including Kristine Froseth, Jon Bernthal, Scott Speedman, and Taylour Paige; Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul highlighted their surprising dance skills in Dual; Director W. Kamau Bell shared insight on the power of celebrity magnetism, especially in the case of Bill Cosby; and Lucie Arnaz expressed her trust in having Amy Poehler direct the documentary on her parents in Lucy and Desi.


  • Sundance ASCAP Music Café Performers: Day 2 of the 2022 Sundance ASCAP Music Café showcased three unique sets from the honey-voiced singer-songwriter and actress Hayley Sales, soulful R&B guitar fusionist Jordan Hawkins, and EVAN + ZANE, a fascinating collaboration between award-winning actress Evan Rachel Wood and acclaimed guitarist Zane Carney
  • Hayley Sales performed: “Let Me Fall Apart,” “Lose Me Forever,” Never Far,” “Never Let You Go,” and “World Can Wait.”
  • Jordan Hawkins performed: “Heart Won’t Stop,” “Risky,” “Slow Down,” and “We Have.”
  • EVAN + ZANE performed: “Smokey Taboo,” “Children of the Revolution,” “Song for Zula,” and “This Woman’s Work.”
DAY 4:

Sundance Film Festival completed the fourth day of its online festival programming featuring conversations with 
Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Keke Palmer, Evan Rachel Wood, Amy Poehler, Eva Longoria Bastón, Thandie Newton, Alan Cumming, Cooper Raiff, Amy Berg, Clarence "Coodie" Simmons, Jeremy O. Harris, and more. 

Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown discussed their personal journeys with religion; Keke Palmer talked about the importance of telling different perspectives on slavery in America; Dakota Johnson gushed about her co-star Vanessa Burghardt in Cooper Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth; Evan Rachel Wood and Director Amy Burg called for awareness to domestic violence through Phoenix Rising; Thandie Newton expressed her love of Westerns and activism and how both came together in God’s Country; Alan Cumming talked bad lip-synching drag queens; Amy Poehler and Eva Longoria Bastón discussed their love of documentaries and how it differs from directing narrative features.

DAY 5:

Having kept the final film in the US Documentary Competition under wraps, the Festival announced that Navalny, a fly-on-the-wall documentary thriller about Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, joins the program and will debut on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. MT. 

Across the board, conversations at the festival dug deep today: delving into the power of story and American narrative (THE STORY OF US: RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE), analyzing the legacy of the foremost Black American filmmaker, Oscar Michaux (Oscar’s Comeback), and uncovering the economic inequities at the heart of American institutions like Disney. Additional film premieres and Q&As (Am I Ok?, Emily the Criminal, and Cinema Café) shone a spotlight on the process and the methods to the madness of selecting independent projects in service of telling one’s story. 


Oscar’s Comeback:

Director LISA COLLINS and Co-Director MARK SCHWARTZBURT on creating a 5-hour documentary, Oscar’s Comeback, about a small-town film festival dedicated to black film pioneer Oscar Micheaux, over the course of seventeen years: “As we dove into the films more and more, we would see these connections across race, class and time, that Oscar’s characters in his movies had with us, and with the character subjects that we were filming - our film crew, our experiences all coming together as a higher force.”

JACQUELINE STEWART, Chief Artistic and Programming Officer, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Micheaux’s impact: “We consider him to be the godfather of independent cinema as an African American filmmaker who made more than 40 films over the course of a 30 year career during the most difficult times of racial segregation in America.”

Director LISA COLLINS on Micheaux’s portrayal of women, and in particular African American women: “Realizing the extreme importance and agency he gives to female characters in his work [...] they drive so many aspects of this protector spirit.”



The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Flee, CODA, Passing, Summer Of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On The Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs and sex, lies, and videotape. 

No comments:

Post a Comment