Sundance Film Festival

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Sundance Film Festival
Current event clock.svg 2019 Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival.jpg
Location Park City, Salt Lake City, Provo, Utah, United States
Sundance Resort, Utah, United States
Founded1978
Founded byJohn Earle, Sterling Van Wagenen
Hosted by Sundance Institute
LanguageEnglish
Website sundance.org/festival

The Sundance Film Festival, a program of the Sundance Institute, takes place annually in Park City, Utah, the largest independent film festival in the United States with more than 46,660 attending in 2016. [1] It is held in January in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as at the Sundance Resort. It is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. [2] The festival consists of competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature films and short films, and a group of out-of-competition sections, including NEXT, New Frontier, Spotlight, Midnight, Premieres, and Documentary Premieres.

Sundance Institute American non-profit organisation

Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization founded by Robert Redford committed to the growth of independent artists. The Institute is driven by its programs that discover and support independent filmmakers, theatre artists and composers from all over the world. At the core of the programs is the goal to introduce audiences to the artists' new work, aided by the Institute's Labs, granting and mentorship programs that take place throughout the year in the United States and internationally.

Park City, Utah City in Utah, United States

Park City is a city in Summit County, Utah, United States. It is considered to be part of the Wasatch Back. The city is 32 miles (51 km) southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and 20 miles (32 km) from Salt Lake City's east edge of Sugar House along Interstate 80. The population was 7,558 at the 2010 census. On average, the tourist population greatly exceeds the number of permanent residents.

Salt Lake City State capital city in Utah, United States

Salt Lake City is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Utah, and county seat of Salt Lake County. With an estimated population of 190,884 in 2014, the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a population of 1,153,340. Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area, a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along a 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,423,912. It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin.

Contents

Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre is one of the festival's oldest and most recognizable venues Egyptian Theater during Sundance 2018.jpg
Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre is one of the festival's oldest and most recognizable venues

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival began January 24 and ran through February 3.

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival took place from January 24 to February 3, 2019. The first lineup of competition films was announced on November 28, 2018.

History

Utah/US Film Festival

Sundance began in Salt Lake City in August 1978, as the Utah/US Film Festival in an effort to attract more filmmakers to Utah. [3] It was founded by Sterling Van Wagenen (then head of Wildwood, [4] Robert Redford's company), John Earle (serving on the Utah Film Commission at the time). The 1978 festival featured films such as Deliverance , A Streetcar Named Desire , Midnight Cowboy , Mean Streets , and The Sweet Smell of Success . [5] With chairman Robert Redford, and the help of Utah Governor Scott M. Matheson, the goal of the festival was to showcase strictly American-made films, highlight the potential of independent film, and to increase visibility for filmmaking in Utah. At the time, the main focus of the event was to conduct a competition for independent American films, present a series of retrospective films and filmmaker panel discussions, and to celebrate the Frank Capra Award. The festival also highlighted the work of regional filmmakers who worked outside the Hollywood system.

Sterling Gray Van Wagenen is an American film and stage producer, writer and director. He is a co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival, and, in association with Robert Redford, he was the founding executive director of the Sundance Institute. In 2019, Van Wagenen pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

<i>Deliverance</i> 1972 American thriller film by John Boorman

Deliverance is a 1972 American thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman, and starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, with the latter two making their feature film debuts. The screenplay was adapted by James Dickey from his 1970 novel of the same name. The film was a critical success, earning three Oscar nominations and five Golden Globe Award nominations.

<i>A Streetcar Named Desire</i> (1951 film) 1951 drama film by Elia Kazan

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American drama film, adapted from Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play of the same name. It tells the story of a southern belle, Blanche DuBois, who, after encountering a series of personal losses, leaves her aristocratic background seeking refuge with her sister and brother-in-law in a dilapidated New Orleans tenement. The Broadway production and cast was converted to film with several changes.

The jury of the 1978 festival was headed by Gary Allison, and included Verna Fields, Linwood G. Dunn, Katharine Ross, Charles E. Sellier Jr., Mark Rydell, and Anthea Sylbert.

Charles Gary Allison was an American screenwriter and film producer.

Verna Fields American film editor and entertainment industry executive

Verna Fields was an American film editor, film and television sound editor, educator, and entertainment industry executive. In the first phase of her career, from 1954 through to about 1970, Fields mostly worked on smaller projects that gained little recognition. She was the sound editor for several television shows in the 1950s. She worked on independent films (including The Savage Eye, on government-supported documentaries of the 1960s, and on some minor studio films such as Peter Bogdanovich's first film, Targets. For several years in the late 1960s, she was a film instructor at the University of Southern California. Her one major studio film, El Cid, led to her only industry recognition in this phase of her career, which was the 1962 Golden Reel award for sound editing.

Linwood G. Dunn, A.S.C. was a pioneer of visual special effects in motion pictures and inventor of related technology. Dunn worked on many films and TV series, including the original 1933 King Kong (1933), Citizen Kane (1941), and Star Trek (1966–69).

In 1979, Sterling Van Wagenen left to head up the first-year pilot program of what was to become the Sundance Institute, and James W. (Jim) Ure took over briefly as executive director, followed by Cirina Hampton Catania as executive director. More than 60 films were screened at the festival that year, and panels featured many well-known Hollywood filmmakers. Also that year, the first Frank Capra Award went to Jimmy Stewart. The festival also made a profit for the first time. In 1980, Catania left the festival to pursue a production career in Hollywood.

Several factors helped propel the growth of Utah/US Film Festival. First was the involvement of actor and Utah resident Robert Redford, who became the festival's inaugural chairman. By having Redford's name associated with the festival, it received great attention. Secondly, the country was hungry for more venues that would celebrate American-made films as the only other festival doing so at the time was the USA Film Festival in Dallas (est. 1971). Response in Hollywood was unprecedented, as major studios did all they could to contribute their resources.

The USA Film Festival is a Dallas-based, 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the recognition and encouragement of excellence in the film and video arts. Founded in 1971, the USA Film Festival has presented the world, national and regional premieres of thousands of studio and independent feature films and short experimental, animated, documentary and dramatic films.

Dallas City in Texas, United States

Dallas is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2018 population of 1,345,047, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is also the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.5 million people as of 2018. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U.S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents.

In 1981, the festival moved to Park City, Utah, and changed the dates from September to January. The move from late summer to midwinter was done by the executive director Susan Barrell with the cooperation of Hollywood director Sydney Pollack, who suggested that running a film festival in a ski resort during winter would draw more attention from Hollywood. It was called the US Film and Video Festival.

Change to Sundance

In 1984, the now well-established Sundance Institute, headed by Sterling Van Wagenen, took over management of the US Film Festival. Gary Beer and Van Wagenen spearheaded production of the inaugural US Film Festival presented by Sundance Institute (1985), which included Program Director Tony Safford and Administrative Director Jenny Walz Selby. The branding and marketing transition from the US Film Festival to the Sundance Film Festival was managed under the direction of Colleen Allen, Allen Advertising Inc., by appointment of Robert Redford. In 1991, the festival was officially renamed the Sundance Film Festival, after Redford's character the Sundance Kid from the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . [6]

Sundance London

UK-based publisher C21 Media first revealed in October 2010 that Robert Redford was planning to bring the Sundance Film Festival to London, [7] and in March the following year, Redford officially announced that Sundance London would be held at The O2, in London from 26–29 April 2012; the first time it has traveled outside the US. [8]

In a press statement, Redford said, "We are excited to partner with AEG Europe to bring a particular slice of American culture to life in the inspired setting of The O2, and in this city of such rich cultural history. [...] It is our mutual goal to bring to the UK, the very best in current American independent cinema, to introduce the artists responsible for it, and in essence help build a picture of our country that is broadly reflective of the diversity of voices not always seen in our cultural exports." [8]

The majority of the film screenings, including the festival's premieres, would be held within the Cineworld cinema at The O2 entertainment district. [9] The 2013 Sundance London Festival was held 25–28 April 2013, and sponsored by car-maker Jaguar. [10]

Sundance London 2014 took place on 25–27 April 2014 at the O2 arena. [11] The Sundance London 2015 Festival was cancelled in an announcement on 16 January 2015. [12] Sundance London returned to London from 2–5 June 2016 [13] and again 1–4 June 2017, [14] both at Picturehouse Cinema in London's West End.

Sundance Hong Kong

Inaugurated in 2014, Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong has taken place in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The next event is scheduled to run from 19 September to 1 October 2019. It is held at The Metroplex in Kowloon Bay each year. [15]

Sundance at BAM

From 2006 through 2008, Sundance Institute collaborated with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on a special series of film screenings, performances, panel discussions, and special events bringing the institute's activities and the festival's programming to New York City. [16]

Notability of festivals

Many notable independent filmmakers received their big break at Sundance, including Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Todd Field, David O. Russell, Steve James, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky, James Wan, Edward Burns, and Jim Jarmusch. The festival is also responsible for bringing wider attention to such films as Saw , Garden State , Super Troopers , The Blair Witch Project , Spanking the Monkey , Reservoir Dogs , Primer , In the Bedroom , Better Luck Tomorrow , Little Miss Sunshine , Donnie Darko , El Mariachi , Moon , Clerks , Thank You for Smoking , Sex, Lies, and Videotape , The Brothers McMullen , (500) Days of Summer , Napoleon Dynamite , Whiplash, Boyhood, and Get Out .

Three Seasons was the first in festival history to ever receive both the Grand Jury Award and Audience Award, in 1999. Later films that won both awards are: God Grew Tired of Us in 2006 (documentary category), Quinceañera in 2006 (dramatic category), Precious in 2009, Fruitvale (later retitled Fruitvale Station ) in 2013, Whiplash in 2014, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl in 2015, and The Birth of a Nation in 2016.

At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, three films went on to garner eight Oscar nominations. [17] Manchester by the Sea took the lead in Sundance-supported films with six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. [18] The next year, about 40 films were acquired by distributors, among them including Amazon, Netflix, Lionsgate, and Universal. [19]

Growth of the festival

The festival has changed over the decades from a low-profile venue for small-budget, independent creators from outside the Hollywood system to a media extravaganza for Hollywood celebrity actors, paparazzi, and luxury lounges set up by companies not affiliated with Sundance. Festival organizers have tried curbing these activities in recent years, beginning in 2007 with their ongoing Focus On Film campaign.

The 2009 film Official Rejection documented the experience of small filmmakers trying to get into various festivals in the late 2000s, including Sundance. The film contained several arguments that Sundance had become dominated by large studios and sponsoring corporations. A contrast was made between the 1990s, in which non-famous filmmakers with tiny budget films could get distribution deals from studios like Miramax Films or New Line Cinema, (like Kevin Smith's Clerks), and the 2000s, when major stars with multimillion-dollar films (like The Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher) dominated the festival. Kevin Smith doubted that Clerks, if made in the late 2000s, would be accepted to Sundance. [20]

Numerous small festivals sprung up around Sundance in the Park City area, including Slamdance, Nodance, Slumdance, It-dance, X-Dance, Lapdance, Tromadance, The Park City Film Music Festival, etc., though all except[ citation needed ] Slamdance are no longer held. [21]

Included in the Sundance changes made in 2010, a new programming category titled "NEXT" (often denoted simply by the characters "<=>", which mean "less is more") was introduced to showcase innovative films that are able to transcend the confines of an independent budget. Another recent addition was the Sundance Film Festival USA program, in which eight of the festival's films are shown in eight different theaters around the United States. [22]

Controversy

In the 2007 edition a critic noted films featuring sex with animals and pro-pedophilia. [23] [24]

Directors

See also

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References

  1. Stambro, Jan Elise. "The Economic Impacts of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival" (pdf). Bureau of Economic and Business Research. University of Utah . Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  2. Cairns, Becky. "Sundance Film Festival drops Ogden as screening location". Standard-Examiner. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  3. "BBC - Films - Sundance Film Festival - A Brief History". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  4. "Redford's Wildwood Enterprises and PBS Bring "Skinwalkers" to the Small Screen | PBS About". Redford's Wildwood Enterprises and PBS Bring "Skinwalkers" to the Small Screen | PBS About. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  5. Craig, Benjamin. "History of the Sundance Film Festival". Sundance-A Festival Virgin's Guide. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  6. Peden, Lauren David (December 2005). "Sundance Subdued". Freedom Orange County Information (coastmagazine.com). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved November 11, 2007.
  7. Benzine, Adam (October 7, 2010). "Exclusive: Redford plans London Sundance". C21 Media. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  8. 1 2 Farmer, Stephen (October 2012). "Robert Redford, Sundance Institute And Aeg Europe Launch Sundance London At The O2". AEG Worldwide . Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  9. "Robert Redford, Sundance Institute and AEG Europe launch Sundance London at The O2". Sundance London. March 15, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  10. "Sundance London 2013". Sundance London. March 1, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  11. "Sundance London 2014 unveils lineup". Digital Spy. March 24, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  12. "Sundance London 2015 cancelled, festival's future under review". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  13. Pierrot, John-Paul (April 20, 2016). "Sundance Film Festival: London 2016 – Programme Announced". Picturehouse Blog. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  14. Pierrot, John-Paul (April 25, 2017). "2017 Sundance Film Festival: London – Programme Announced". Picturehouse Blog. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  15. "Sundance". hk.sundance.org. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  16. "Sundance Mixed With Stars, Politicians". BAM. Archived from the original on January 12, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  17. Quinnette, Celia (January 24, 2017). "8 oscar nominations for films from the 2016 sundance film festival". Sundance TV. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  18. Quinnette, Celia (January 24, 2017). "8 oscar nominations for films from the 2016 sundance film festival". Sundance TV. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  19. "The Complete List of Movies Sold at Sundance 2016, and Why Amazon and Netflix Went All Out". Vulture. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  20. Kevin Smith, interviewed in Official Rejection, documentary film, 2009, directed by Paul Osborne
  21. Official Rejection, documentary film, 2009, directed by Paul Osborne
  22. Clark, Cody (January 22, 2010). "Redford launches 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City". The Daily Herald . Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  23. Stillwell, Cinnamon (June 20, 2007). "American Pop Culture: Degeneracy On Parade". SFGate. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  24. "East Bay - Movies - The Kids Are Not Alright - eastbayexpress.com". web.archive.org. February 11, 2007. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  25. Kay, Jeremy (March 11, 2009). "John Cooper steps up as director of Sundance Film Festival" . ScreenDaily.com. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  26. Cieply, Michael (February 17, 2009). "Shakeup in Film Festivals as a Familiar Face Moves". The New York Times . Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  27. "Sundance Institute announces John Cooper as Director, Sundance Film Festival" (pdf) (Press release). Sundance Institute. March 11, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2010.

Further reading

Coordinates: 40°38′33″N111°29′43″W / 40.642498°N 111.495143°W / 40.642498; -111.495143