Festivals - Sundance 2023: Film Festival Returns to In-Person & Delivers Inspiring Day One of Festival Programming

By Mulder, Salt Lake City, Sundance Resort, 19 january 2023

Sundance Film Festival completed the first day of programming featuring Sundance Scoop, where the festival announced that Doug Liman’s first documentary feature Justice has been added to the lineup, Opening Night: A Taste of Sundance honoring Ryan Coogler, W. Kamau Bell, Luca Guadagnio and Nikyatu Jusu, in addition to a slate of incredible premieres and events.  The 2023 Festival takes place January 19–29, 2023, in person in Park City, Salt Lake City, and the Sundance Resort, along with the majority of the films available online across the country January 24–29, 2023. Online tickets can be purchased at festival.sundance.org.  

Sundance Film Festival welcomed film fans over the action-packed first day of premieres and conversations on Day One, featuring the Sundance Scoop, a kickoff conversation and Q&A with Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente, Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming Kim Yutani, and Senior Programmer and Strategic Initiatives Director John Nein, moderated by Incoming Sundance Film Festival Director and Head of Public Programming, Eugene Hernandez. The press conference delivered buzz with the announcement of the world premiere of Justice in the Festival Special Screenings section scheduled to take place in-person on Friday, January 20.

The Festival kicked off with Opening Night: A Taste of Sundance Celebration where inspiring and breakout storytellers were honored including Ryan Coogler (Sundance Institute | Variety Visionary Award), Luca Guadagnio (Sundance Institute International Icon Award), W. Kamau Bell (Vanguard Award presented by Acura - Nonfiction), Nikyatu Jusu (Vanguard Award presented by Acura - Fiction), presenters included Dakota Johnson, Lena Waithe, Boots Riley, and Roger Ross Williams. Additionally, the evening capped off with a performance by folk rock duo, Indigo Girls. 

Yesterday’s Festival events also included buzzing press lines and premieres for Little Richard: I Am Everything, The Longest Goodbye, Shayda, Kim’s Video, L’immensita, Run Rabbit Run, and Birth/Rebirth. Additionally, the festival’s Short Film Program 1 premieres included Help Me Understand, Parker, Ricky, Sweatshop Girl, Inglorious Liaisons. 

Each year, Sundance serves as a place for the community to come together and discover exciting and compelling projects by visionary artists. Continuing to foster the spirit of thought-provoking discussion throughout 2023, Sundance Film Festival also programs a series of panels across discipline and topic.

The Sundance Film Festival is an artist program of the Sundance Institute. Proceeds earned through Festival ticket sales go to uplifting and developing emerging artists on a year-round basis through focused labs, direct grants, fellowships, residencies, and more.

Sundance Scoop 
Sundance Institute’s Joana Vicente, Kim Yutani, and John Nein took part in an opening day conversation and Q&A moderated by incoming Festival Director Eugene Hernandez, opening the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. During the Q&A, Sundance unveiled Justice will have its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in the Special Screenings section. The film is directed by Doug Liman and produced by Amy Herdy, with Story Syndicate’s Liz Garbus and Dan Cogan executive producing. The news of the project and its addition to the lineup is being revealed for the first time ahead of its premiere screening on January 20 at 8:30 p.m. MT. In director Doug Liman’s first documentary feature, Justice presents never-before-seen evidence and key interviews with those closely involved in the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Opening Night: 
A Taste of Sundance presented by IMDbPro kicked off the festival by honoring inspiring and breakout storytellers whose journeys have been connected to Sundance throughout the years while raising funds and awareness for the Institute.  Honorees were Ryan Coogler (Sundance Institute | Variety Visionary Award), Luca Guadagnio (Sundance Institute International Icon Award), W. Kamau Bell (Vanguard Award presented by Acura - Nonfiction), Nikyatu Jusu (Vanguard Award presented by Acura - Fiction).
- Special performance by Indigo Girls.
- Presenters included: Dakota Johnson presented the Sundance Institute International Icon Award to Luca Guadagnino, Roger Ross Williams presents the Vanguard Award for Nonfiction presented by Acura to W. Kamau Bell, Boots Riley presented the Vanguard Award for Fiction presented by Acura to Nikyatu Jusu. And Lena Waithe presented the Sundance Institute Variety Visionary Award to Ryan Coogler.

Films Premieres : 
- Sometimes i think about dying  : Film talent included Daisy Ridley (Star wars: the rise of skywalker, star wars: the force awakens) and director Rachel Lambert who attended the premiere’s press line.  You ca discover the official photos here and here
- The pod generation : Film talent included Emilia Clarke (Game of thrones) and director Sophie Barthes who attended the premiere’s press line. Discover the official photos here
- Radixal:  Film talent included Eugenio Derbez (Coda, Acapulco) and director Christopher Zalla who attended the premiere’s press line and Q&A. Discover the official photos here and here
- - It’s only life after all : Film talent included Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and director Alexandria Bombach who attended the premiere’s press line. Discover the official photos here.

Films will become available online across the United-States beginning January 24 and will include all Competition titles (U.S. Dramatic, U.S. Documentary, World Cinema Dramatic, World Cinema Documentary, and Next), as well as exciting work across other sections of the feature film program, Indie Episodic Program, and Shorts Program. Tickets are on sale now.

Photos : Courtesy of Sundance Institute for press use

(Source : press relase)