Sundance London 2020: Schedule and line-up
Staff Reporter | On 07, Aug 2020Reading time: 5 mins
Sundance London will go online this August for a three-day weekend celebration.
Running from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th August, the virtual event will bring three of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival line-up to UK audiences digitally.
The online festival will kick off with Uncle Frank, which is directed, written and produced by Alan Ball (American Beauty, True Blood) and stars Paul Bettany. The film was snapped up by Amazon Studios following its premiere. It will be followed by Luxor, directed by Zeina Durra (The Imperialists Are Live) and starring Andrea Riseborough on the Saturday. The event will close on Sunday with Apple TV+ documentary Boys State, directed by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine and winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 2020 Festival.
Festival passholders will be able to enjoy access to a short film programme, which includes the UK premiere of 8 short films which highlight filmmaking’s most original voices. Alongside the films on offer, the festival will also host discussions with an exciting group of speakers providing valuable insights into the art, craft, equity and business of independent film. “Transatlantic: Directors in Conversation” will see five leading UK and US independent filmmakers, Janicza Bravo (Zola), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Romola Garai (Amulet), Justin Simien (Bad Hair), and Julie Taymor (The Glorias), engage in a vibrant and thoughtful discussion of their careers, creative processes, and films from the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Major industry figures Jeff Deutchman (EVP of acquisitions and production, NEON) and Julia Oh (senior commissioning executive, Film4) will join special guests (to be announced later) for “(Re)Imagining the Future of Independent Film” to examine the complexities of the independent filmmaking landscape and reimagining what the future of film can and should look like in these uncertain times. The panels will be free to view worldwide.
Tabitha Jackson, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said: “As a proud Brit in my first year as Festival Director, and despite all the challenges of this moment, I am especially pleased that we are able to celebrate Sundance Film Festival: London with a tight selection of films, conversations and special guests on our new digital platform. Although we will not be gathering in person, the power of the work remains undimmed and we’re eager for it to reach audiences in the comfort and safety of their homes.”
Clare Binns, Joint Managing Director Picturehouse Cinemas, adds: “We are thrilled to still be able to bring the best independent cinema direct from Utah’s Sundance Film Festival to our UK audiences in these unprecedented times. We look forward to hosting the festival again in the future at Picturehouse Central, but in the meantime join us for some Sundance fun, (which we could all do with) and the exciting offering of the best of thought provoking and cinematic films, Q&As and talks as we all navigate through this current situation.”
Festival passes are now on sale for £20 (£14 for Picturehouse members and Cineworld Unlimited customers and Co//ab members). Individual tickets cost £5.99 for one film or for the short films.
Both are available at london.sundance.org.
Each premiere will be accompanied by an introduction and a post-screening live Q&A with cast and crew.
Uncle Frank (Director/Screenwriter: Alan Ball)
In 1973, Frank Bledsoe and his 18-year-old niece Beth take a road trip from Manhattan to Creekville, South Carolina, for the family patriarch’s funeral and are unexpectedly joined by Frank’s lover, Walid.
Principal cast: Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, Peter Macdissi
Friday 7th August – 8pm
Luxor (Director: Zeina Durra)
When British aid worker Hana returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she comes across Sultan, a talented archaeologist and former lover. As she wanders, haunted by the familiar place, she struggles to reconcile the choices of the past with the uncertainty of the present.
Principal cast: Andrea Riseborough, Karim Saleh, Michael Landes
Saturday 8th August – 8pm
Boys State (Director: Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine)
A political coming-of-age story, Boys State is a raucous journey into the heart of American democracy through an annual rite of passage in which a thousand teenage boys from across Texas come together to build a representative government from the ground up.
Sunday 9th August – 8pm
Friday 7th August – From 10am
The Devil’s Harmony (Director: Dylan Holmes Williams)
A bullied teenage girl leads an a cappella club on a trail of destruction against her high school enemies.
Slug Life (Director: Sophie Koko Gate)
Tanya has finally created the perfect partner, a beautiful giant slug.
Beyond the North Winds: A Post Nuclear Reverie (Director: Natalie Cubides-Brady)
A hybrid documentary about the decommissioning of a nuclear plant in Scotland. It traces the journey of man who disappeared while writing a report about the reactor.
White Girl (Director: Nadia Latif)
If you think she’s the victim, you’re next…
No, I Don’t Want To Dance (Director: Andrea Vinciguerra)
In these dark times, you may think that every hazard has been identified, but nobody has taken into consideration how dangerous dance can be …
Pompeii (Directors: Harry Lighton, Marco Alessi, Matthew Jacobs Morgan)
Tam gets on the first tube home alone. In just a crop top and high-waisted jeans, he feels conspicuous. So he plugs in his earphones and begins reliving his Halloween night out via his phone.
Junior Bangers (Director: Danny Lee)
In parts of England, banger racing isn’t just a sport—it’s a way of life. Join 11-year-olds Finn and Harley on a cold winter race day in Birmingham.
Wood Child & Hidden Forest Mother (Director: Stephen Irwin)
Deep in the forest, a hunter encounters a strange creature he cannot kill.
Transatlantic: Directors in Conversation
Join five leading UK and US independent filmmakers for a vibrant and thoughtful discussion of their careers, creative processes, and films from the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
Panellists: Wendy Mitchell moderates, exploring the work of Janicza Bravo (Zola), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Romola Garai (Amulet), Justin Simien (Bad Hair), and Julie Taymor (The Glorias).
Friday 7th August – 5.30pm
(Re)Imagining the Future of Independent Film
The film industry is facing unprecedented change in these uncertain times. A lively combination of industry and artist guests dive into the complexities of the current independent filmmaking landscape, reimagining what the future of film can and should look like, and examining everything from rapidly evolving viewing patterns to paths forward in improving equitable practices industry-wide.
Panellists: Jeff Deutchman (EVP of acquisitions and production, NEON) and Julia Oh (senior commissioning executive, Film4) are joined by special guests
Saturday 8th August – 5.30pm