Sundance Institute and Picturehouse announced today the programme of feature films, short films and panel discussions for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival: London, taking place 1-4 June at Picturehouse Central. Festival passes are on sale now, find out more at picturehouses.com/sundance. Priority booking for Picturehouse Members and Passholders opens today. Individual tickets on sale from 9.30am Tuesday 2 May.
The festival will present 14 feature films direct from this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A., selected for London by the Sundance Institute programming team in collaboration with Picturehouse. As previously announced, the festival will open with the International premiere of Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner, and it will close four days later with the UK premiere of David Lowery’s critically acclaimed A Ghost Story, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.
Continuing the focus of the four previous London editions on presenting new work by emerging and established independent filmmakers, the 2017 festival will also include a short film programme with 15 shorts, including a strand dedicated to new UK shorts. The films collectively received 7 awards when they premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, including the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic (Crown Heights) and Audience Award: U.S. Documentary (Chasing Coral).
For the first time, the programme will include a “Surprise Film” screening which promises festivalgoers an exclusive chance to catch an audience hit from this year’s festival in Park City. Additionally, the Sundance Film Festival: London will introduce an Audience Favourite award for 2017, giving festivalgoers the chance to vote for their favourite features, with the winner announced at the close of the festival.
The Special Events programme comprises three panel events and an “In Conversation” event with renowned guests, providing incredible insights into the filmmaking process. The “Independent Film Trumps Reality” panel will examine independent filmmaking in the current political climate, involving directors at the festival whose films have gained a new level of currency in the age of Trump, while the “On Collaboration: Documentary Practices and Process” panel (presented by Dropbox) will explore the themes of diversity, accessibility and progress in documentary, and the short filmmaker panel “Art vs. Stepping Stone” (presented in association with London Short Film Festival) will pose the question, “Are shorts simply a stepping stone or do they sustain a filmmaker throughout a career?” Acclaimed director David Lowery, whose highly anticipated film A Ghost Story will close the festival, will participate in an “In Conversation” event (presented in association with Empire magazine) which will be followed by a special screening of his earlier feature, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.
A full list of additional filmmakers and special guests expected to attend will be announced closer to the festival.
Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute, said,
“As we head into our fifth festival in London, we remain committed to introducing new American independent films to audiences around the world. Our success in the UK is a reflection of the enormous creativity of independent artists and the stories they tell, as well as the curious and adventurous audiences who have made us feel right at home in the heart of London.”
John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said,
“The films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival: London show us the very human sides of issues, people and places both intimately familiar and entirely unknown. The range of characters and approaches — all told from independent perspectives — allows us to see the funny and the serious, the scary and the comforting, the urgent and the timeless in our world today.”
Clare Binns, Director of Programming and Acquisitions at Picturehouse, adds,
”As we approach our second Sundance Film Festival: London, we hope to encourage the sense of a film community that Park City does so well, at our home Picturehouse Central. This year, we are introducing the Audience Favourite award and have a new event, the ‘Surprise Film’ (you are in for a real treat) and we will continue making this a festival that engages with its audience who are with us to see and discover the best of new independent cinema from the USA.”
More information will be available at picturehouses.com/sundance. Join the conversation on social media with #sundancelondon.
Red Carpet News TV was on the blue carpet for the European premiere of Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2, we caught up with newcomers Pom Klementieff & Kurt Russell as well as Michael Rooker and Director James Gunn. Read what they had to say below
First up is Pom Klementieff who plays Mantis, likely to prove a quick fan favourite the powerful new Guardians member marks a huge break fro the French starlet, as she explained herself.
How did it feel joining such a huge franchise?
It was incredible especially for me coming from France, even though I lived in LA, it was a big Hollywood movie and a Marvel Movie. It was one of my dreams to be in Marvel movie and to have super powers so I was pretty excited about that. But you know it’s like joining a family. James Gunn is really amazing and you know the whole cast was really nice and down to earth and professional too. So I learnt a lot from them.
Tell us a little about Mantis and what she adds to the Marvel universe?
She arrives in the movie at the same time as Kurt Russell’s character Ego and she’s like a child because she grew up sort of on her own. She’s pretty powerful but she doesn’t really know it. Meeting the Guardians is sort of opening a new world to her and then she’s able to do things that she didn’t even know she was capable of doing.
The first Guardians was a lot of fun but it also had a lot of heart, what’s the heart of the story this time?
It talks about family, it talks about the relationship between a father and son, between sisters, and between new people who meet each other and become their friends and family in a way. It’s not just about blood related people, it’s about the people who you make family on your own.
Mantis and Drax have quite an interesting and sweet relationship how was it working with Dave Bautista?
It was great, he’s a gentleman and you know he’s really sweet. He’s big and if there’s a problem you know he can fight… Wooo! but he’s also just really sweet you know.
Kurt Russell is already riding high on the enormous box office success of the latest Fast and Furious film, so naturally playing the powerful and mysterious father of Peter Quill’s Star Lord is a natural progression….
What appealed to you about the character and joining the sequel?
When I got the script they do a lot of keeping thing’s close to the vest with Marvel stuff and with Guardians stuff. So he was actually referred to in the script as J’Son. After I read the script I remember thinking what a weak ass name for a great character so I was so hapy latr on to find out he had a much better name being Ego The Living Planet. That’s befitting this guy! And he’s a God so come on let’s have a moniker and yeah I thought things are coming together to fit very well with what I assumed James wanted to do for his movie
What was it like working with Chris Pratt?
It was great you know I’ve done some parts in the past that reminded him of the way he performs Peter Quill. So I understood why when Chris and James watched the movie and talked it over they said Kurt Russell would be the right guy to do this movie. That feels good, but what feel better is when you meet and go Yup this feels good!
Michael Rooker rejoins the cast with his memorably blue skinned and morally ambiguous character Yondu becoming an even more central part of the Guardians universe…
Was it interesting to take Yondu on such an evolution this time?
Yeah there was quite a lot to be involved with, great stuff! He does evolve a lot there’s much more going on. You don’t necessarily know what but you know something’s up. I’m really happy that it doesn’t get completely totally explained with words. A lot of it you deal with just looking, it’s a lot of non-verbal stuff, camera moves and stuff like that which is kinda cool. Any yet when I get that fin back on it’s crazy man!
The new fin is very striking was it tough to work with though?
The new head fin is one of my favourite things in the movie I love the new fin! I almost knocked myself out several times shooting the movie. You know it’s like 8 inches taller than me and it goes out two inches beyond my forehead too. It just took a little time to get used to.
You get to work quite a bit this time with Rocket and Baby Groot, what was that like?
Messing around with little baby Groot is tough. He’s a tough little cookie, you’ve got to watch him! He’s a little violent that little guy. He’s deceiving!
What is it like being a part of the Guardians family?
On and off camera these guys are my pals and it IS like a family. It’s been a blast, you know James Gunn must be our Daddy! he’s a really cool guy you know!
Director James Gunn recently confirmed he will direct the next Guardians sequel but after the huge popularity of the fist film and it’s significant box office success it would have been natural to feel daunted about trying to bottle lighting a second time for Vol 2…
Was Vol 2 harder or easier than the first Guardians film?
Definitely the first one was a bigger challenge. The first one nobody knew who the character where and I didn’t know if people were going to think that the story that we were telling was too weird or unusual. I didn’t know if it was going to be too off-putting, I didn’t know if putting music in the film was going to be very strange. This time I knew there was an audience out there who loved the first movie waiting to see these characters and waiting to see what we came up with. That makes things a lot easier and a lot less scary frankly.
We’re excited that you’re hopeful going to be back for the third movie did you have that in mind when making this one and were you crafting it based on where you ultimately want to take the franchise?
Well I’m definitely back for Vol 3, you don’t need to hope! You never know where you’re going to go though, so I tried to make the movie in a way that it could be just a story or that it could continue on. You Know I always kinda had an idea of what the three movies as a whole would be and that that would be the story of this group of the Guardians of the Galaxy. I think that telling the last part of that is going to be a whole lot of fun.
How did you settle on the character of Ego and how easy was it to cast Kurt Russell?
I didn’t think immediately of Kurt but I thought of him after a while. I knew what the story was behind Peter Quill and his father, I came up with that before I even started shooting the first movie and it was kinda going through which character in the Marvel universe really fit those attributes. Ego was the one I came up with.
Obviously young peter was at the heart of the first film, what the heart of the story this time and what are you most hoping fans take away form Vol 2?
Well I do think that the first film was about Peter Quill and this one is about the group as a whole, so I think that’s part of it, but I think it’s just about battered relationships and damaged souls, it’s about people who have never been loved and who are trying to love and it’s a very difficult thing for them. I think that’s true whether it’s Peter Quill or Rocket or Gamora or Nebula… we get to see all those relationships play out in this movie and see where they go.
Thanks for talking to us James and Thank you for Baby Groot!
For a reminder of just how awesoeme Guardians of the Galaxy is check out the hilarious press conference from the fist film below: