January 18, 2018 (All day) to January 28, 2018 (All day)
Sundance Institute showcases independent storytelling at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Recent additions to the program include eight feature films, a VR experience, and the NEXT Innovator's Award juror. Screenings will take place in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort January 18-28.
The Festival represents the flagship of the Institute’s public programs, which also include Festivals in London and Hong Kong and other screenings throughout the year. Sundance Institute supports independent artists with year-round programs, granting more than $2.5 million and convening 25 global residency Labs focusing on theatre, film, New Frontier and episodic content.
Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “The work of independent storytellers can challenge and possibly change culture, illuminating our world’s imperfections and possibilities. This year’s Festival is full of artfully-told stories that provoke thought, drive empathy and allow the audience to connect, in deeply personal ways, to the universal human experience.”
Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, "We're proud of the diversity of this year's lineup; emboldening broader, more inclusive independent voices is a crucial part of our work at the Festival and throughout the year. These stories might inspire or move us, even occasionally make us uncomfortable – but they can shift our perspectives, spark conversation and create change.”
John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “These films and voices offer a creative lens to view our complex times. This is connected, relevant, global art that provides a fresh alternative to the noise dominating the cultural mainstream, and an inspiration for its future.”
For the 2018 Festival, 110 feature-length films were selected, representing 29 countries and 47 first-time filmmakers, including 30 in competition. These films were selected from 13,468 submissions including 3,901 feature-length films and 8,740 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 1,799 were from the U.S. and 2,102 were international. One-hundred feature films at the Festival will be world premieres. In 2017, the Festival drew 71,638 attendees, generated $151.5 million in economic activity for the state of Utah and supported 2,778 local jobs.
More about this year's program
RuPaul will convene a retrospective of VH1's Emmy-winning "RuPaul's Drag Race" on the heels of its 10th season, and host a panel with executive producers and Sundance Film Festival veterans Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, along with Tom Campbell and Pamela Post, senior vice president of Original Programming for MTV, VH1 and Logo. RuPaul will also serve as the Festival's inaugural and sole NEXT Innovator Award juror, and will present the NEXT Innovator Award to his favorite film in that category, which showcases pure, bold works distinguished by innovative, forward-thinking approaches to storytelling.
Other additions to the program include features Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, Hereditary, Lords of Chaos, The Long Dumb Road, Private Life, You Were Never Really Here and Sweet Country and New Frontier work Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality). Hearts Beat Loud, a feature announced earlier in the Premieres section, is now confirmed as a Closing Night Film.
These latest additions are joined by archive film Smoke Signals, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998, and a selection of early work by filmmaker Todd Haynes, whose feature film directorial debut Poison won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival. The archive films are selections from the Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA, a partnership between UCLA Film & Television Archive and Sundance Institute. Established in 1997, the Collection is devoted to the preservation of independent documentaries, narratives, and short films supported by Sundance Institute. The Collection has grown to over 4,000 holdings representing nearly 2,300 titles and preservation efforts have brought renewed attention to films such as Hoop Dreams, Desert Hearts, Reservoir Dogs, River of Grass, Walking and Talking, Paris is Burning, El Mariachi and Paris, Texas. Titles are generously donated by individual filmmakers, distributors and studios.