The fast-approaching 2016 edition of the Sundance Film Festival (January 21-31) features an exciting slate of panels and conversations, including both the long-running "Power of Story" series—with appearances by Christopher Nolan, Colin Trevorrow, and Alex Ross Perry—and a new venue, Festival Base Camp, which will play host to daily music performances. Topics to be covered at this year's festival include the relationship between media technology and storytelling, film aesthetics and the use of celluloid, music design, casting, and environmentalism.
Other luminaries expected to participate include D.A. Pennebaker, Norman Lear, Lena Dunham, Chelsea Handler, Morgan Spurlock, Werner Herzog, Joshua Oppenheimer, Rebecca Hall, Michael Shannon, Charlie Kaufman, and Duke Johnson, among others. Read the full schedule of Sundance conversations below.
"Power of Story" Panels
Both "Power of Story" panels will be live streamed at sundance.org/festival.
Power of Story:
Evolution of Storytelling
Monday, January 25 at 2:30 p.m. MST
While story is how we understand ourselves, our society and the world around us, it doesn't exist until it’s shared through the mediums we use to communicate – our communication architecture. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of our New Frontier Program, join a group of remarkable minds – storytellers and creative technologists – for a workshop that explores imagination, innovation and the deeply intertwined worlds of technology and storytelling. Led by John Underkoffler (Minority Report, Iron Man, CEO, Oblong Industries), guests Nancy Bennett (CCO and Head of Virtual Reality,Two Bit Circus), John Gaeta (The Matrix Trilogy, Executive Creative Director, ILMxLAB), Kevin Slavin (MIT Media Lab), Lynette Wallworth (Collisions), Reggie Watts (Waves) give us a glimpse into the mind-blowing future of story.
Power of Story: The Art of Film
Thursday, January 28 at 2:30 p.m. MST
Kicking off Art of Film Weekend, in this celebration of celluloid, we look at film aesthetics, its intrinsic qualities and its appeal to filmmakers who have made the artistic choice to employ film as a shooting format. Since the birth of cinema, artists have found within a thin strip of celluloid film myriad forms of expression and a magical medium through which to tell stories. Join Christopher Nolan (Memento, Dark Knight series, Interstellar), Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World), and moderator Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip, Queen of Earth).
"Art of Film" Weekend
Cinema Café with D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus
Friday, January 29 at 11:30 a.m. MST
Each morning at the Filmmaker Lodge, Cinema Café invigorates the culture of conversation with a daily series of informal chats featuring special guests for thought-provoking discussions. This edition of Cinema Cafe during the Art of Film weekend features a conversation with D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
Adapting Genres to Virtual Reality
Friday, January 29 at 1:30 p.m. MST
New Frontier Gateway
Close ups, fast cuts, and pacing were all initially accidents that became staples in conveying mood, tone, and story in film. In virtual reality, much of those tools are gone, and with that, our tools to shape genres are also changing. What have we learned so far in approaching story in virtual reality? Join us in an open discussion with virtual reality pioneers Saschka Unseld (creative director, Oculus Story Studio), Jessica Brillhart (principal filmmaker, VR at Google), Eric Darnell (CCO, Baobab, director, Madagascar) and Emilie Joly (CEO, Apelab). Moderated by Yelena Rachitsky (creative producer and Head of Education, Oculus Story Studio).
Art of Music Supervision: Show & Tell with Randall
Friday, January 29 at 2:00 p.m. MST
Setting scenes to particular tunes and selecting artists for the soundtrack are crucial to contributing nuance, tone, and expression to a film. This is where an accomplished music supervisor like Randall Poster comes in. Poster works with filmmakers Wes Anderson, Todd Haynes, and Richard Linklater, to name a few. Through film clips and discussion, Poster will share what inspires him, how he collaborates with filmmakers, and how his craft of music supervision ultimately brings a film to new heights and deeper meaning. #SFFonMusic #ArtFilmWeekend
Song Exploder Live with KT Tunstall
Friday, January 29 at 3:00 p.m. MST
Festival Base Camp
Presented by Canada Goose
Art of Film Weekend welcomes the Song Exploder podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Using the isolated, individual tracks from the recording, host Hrishikesh Hirway asks artists like U2, Björk, The National, Alexandre Desplat and KT Tunstall to delve into the specific decisions that went into creating their work. #SongExploder
Cinema Café with Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson
Saturday, January 30 at 11:30 a.m. MST
This edition of Cinema Café during the Art of Film weekend features a conversation with Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson of Anomalisa.
Behind the Scenes: The Art of Casting
Saturday, January 30 at 2:00 p.m. MST
Casting directors play a critical role to narrative filmmaking, but how well much do we understand about their craft? How do instinct and experience play into their decisions? How does their work generate fresh and meaningful characters? Richard Hicks (Gravity, Zero Dark Thirty) moderates a conversation with seasoned casting directors Jessica Daniels (Wiener-Dog, 30 Rock), Jessica Kelly (Precious, Obvious Child), Stephanie Holbrook (Christine, Equity) that will take us behind the scenes to illuminate the art and alchemy behind their process. #SFFonCasting #ArtFilmWeekend
Additional Offscreen Programming
How to Save the World
Friday, January 22, 2:30 p.m. MST
Festival Base Camp
Presented by Canada Goose
It’s impossible to separate the history of environmentalism from the powerful images put forth by filmmakers in a collective body of work that has tackled wildlife conservation, climate change, environmental concerns and species extinction to name but a few. But can these voices empower a global community to take action before it’s too late? Join moderator Pat Mitchell (Chair of the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees), Beverly and Dereck Joubert (Reflections on Elephants, The Last Lions), Louie Psihoyos (The Cove, Racing Extinction), and Josh Fox (Gasland, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change). #SFFGlobalAction
These panels will be live streamed at sundance.org/festival from the Filmmaker Lodge. Some Cinema Café discussions are programmed in collaboration with TimesTalks, streaming engaging discussions with Festival filmmakers and New York Times journalists.
Lena Dunham and Norman Lear (TimesTalks)
Friday, January 22, 11:30 a.m. MST
Chelsea Handler and Morgan Spurlock (TimesTalks)
Saturday, January 23, 11:30 a.m. MST
John Krasinski and Thomas Middleditch (TimesTalks)
Sunday, January 24, 11:30 a.m. MST
Werner Herzog and Joshua Oppenheimer (TimesTalks)
Monday, January 25, 11:30 a.m. MST
Rebecca Hall and Michael Shannon (TimesTalks)
Tuesday, January 26, 11:30 a.m. MST
Wednesday, January 27, 11:30 a.m. MST
Thursday, January 28, 11:30 a.m. MST