Sundance Film Festival Goes To London

london, sundance film festival
Over the years, Sundance Film Festival have expanded their wings and branched out to cities from Los Angeles to London.
Picturehouse and the non-profit Sundance Institute announced today the  lineup of  feature fiction and documentary films, a specially curated programme of UK-produced short films and a Gregg Araki retrospective for the 10th edition of Sundance Film Festival: London  2023, taking place from 6 to 9 July at Picturehouse Central.
The Festival will present 11 feature films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Salt Lake City, and the Sundance Resort in January, specially curated for London by the Sundance Institute programming team in collaboration with Picturehouse. The festival will close on 9 July with the UK premiere of You Hurt My Feelings, from acclaimed filmmaker Nicole Holofcener (Lovely & Amazing, Enough Said). The Brooklyn-set comedy-drama stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep, Seinfeld) and Tobias Menzies (The Crown) as a couple whose marriage is suddenly upended when she overhears his honest reaction to her latest book.


The Festival previously announced that it will open on 6 July with the UK premiere of Scrapper, written and directed by Londoner Charlotte Regan. Charlotte is a Sundance Ignite Fellow and was named as a 2020 Screen International Star of Tomorrow. The film stars Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats, Triangle of Sadness) and newcomers Lola Campbell and Alin Uzun. Theo Barrowclough produces, and the executive producers are Michael Fassbender, Eva Yates, Farhana Bhula, Conor McCaughan, Daniel Emmerson and Jim Reeve.

Alongside the opening and closing night films, the Festival will present work by bold filmmakers who explore modern love and identity. Ira Sachs (Little Men, Keep The Lights On) directs Passages, starring Ben Whishaw (Women Talking), Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is The Warmest Colour) and Franz Rogowski (Great Freedom) in the intimate story of a gay couple whose marriage is thrown into crisis when one of them begins a passionate affair with a younger woman. Andrew Durham’s Fairyland is a stylish coming-of-age drama based on Alysia Abbott’s memoir Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father. The film is told from the perspective of a young girl being brought up by her single gay father in San Francisco in the 1970s and stars Emilia Jones (CODA), Scoot McNairy (Argo), Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise) and singer-songwriter Adam Lambert.

Past Lives is an astonishing and deeply romantic film which stars Greta Lee (Russian Doll), Teo Yoo (Decision To Leave), and John Magaro (First Cow). It is a stunning debut from writer and director Celine Song and follows a reunion between two childhood friends as they contemplate their relationship and their own lives. Mutt follows Feña (Lio Mehiel), a young trans guy bustling through life in New York City, who is afflicted with an incessantly challenging day that resurrects ghosts from his past. This compelling film is directed, written, and produced by Vuk Lungulov-Klotz, a Chilean-Serbian filmmaker raised between Chile, New York City, and Serbia – and it won the 2023 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Acting for Lio Mehiel’s performance.

The 2023 Festival continues the Sundance tradition of supporting original work from established and emerging voices in filmmaking. Once again, the line-up includes a short film programme that is dedicated to UK productions, highlighting some of the amazing talent in the Short Film art form, in films either produced in the UK or made by filmmakers based in the UK. In addition to hosting the debut features from Andrew Durham, Bethann Hardison, Celine Song, Charlotte Regan and Vuk Lungulov-Klotz, the Festival will also host co-directors Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou’s Talk To Me. A crowd-pleasing horror-thriller for the Instagram-generation, which follows a group of friends who discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, becoming hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far.

As in previous years, the London edition will provide a compelling documentary strand. Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson’s engrossing and topical Fantastic Machine (winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival), takes the audience on a voyage through the life of the video camera. Weaving and contrasting some of the most iconic, harrowing, and viral images in our collective memory with user-generated footage, Danielson and Van Aertryck intricately fashion an argument about how humans see themselves. Filmmakers Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn transport their audience to a symphonically, aesthetically, and emotionally vibrant world in Going Varsity in Mariachi (winner of the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival).

This energetic documentary captures the highs and lows of a high-school mariachi band in Texas, as they compete in the state championship and students must juggle school life while embracing their heritage. Invisible Beauty looks back at the incredible impact Bethann Hardison has had over the last five decades, as an activist, model, and muse. Co-directed by Hardison and Frédéric Tcheng (Halston, Dior and I), the fashion revolutionary reflects on her personal journey and the cost of being a pioneer. Anton Corbijn’s (Control, The American) charming feature documentary debut, Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis), is an entertaining tribute to the days of analog creativity and artistic risk. Corbijn’s film explores the duo behind a generation of iconic album covers, Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey “Po” Powell, aka the innovative design studio Hipgnosis. Interviewees in the film include Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, Roger Waters and David Gilmour.

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