The 2021 Sundance Film Festival lineup has been announced, featuring work from our SPECTACULAR alumni and current students.
Superior, a film written and directed by alum Erin Vassilopoulos, is premiering in the U.S. Dramatic Competition: On the run, Marian returns to her hometown in upstate New York to hide out with her estranged identical twin sister, Vivian. Struggling to put the past behind her, Marian lies about the reason for her return, leaving her sister in the dark until their two worlds begin to collide.
The film was DPd by alum and professor Mia Cioffi Henry and edited by Professor Jenn Ruff.
SON OF MONARCHS
Alum Alexis Gambis’s Son of Monarchs will compete in the Next category: After his grandmother’s death, a Mexican biologist living in New York returns to his hometown, nestled in the majestic monarch butterfly forests of Michoacán. The journey forces him to confront past traumas and reflect on his hybrid identity, sparking a personal and spiritual metamorphosis. The film received Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, and is produced by fellow alum Maria Altamirano.
The Premieres category features two Grad Film-helmed projects:
MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE
Marvelous and The Black Hole, written and directed by alum Kate Tsang: A teenage delinquent befriends a surly magician who helps her navigate her inner demons and dysfunctional family with sleight of hand magic, in a coming-of-age comedy that touches on unlikely friendships, grief, and finding hope in the darkest moments.
Bring Your Own Brigade, written and directed by alum Lucy Walker: A character-driven vérité and revelatory investigation takes us on a journey embedded with firefighters and residents on a mission to understand the causes of historically large wildfires and how to survive them, discovering that the solution has been here all along.
The festival marks both films’s World Premieres.
The Shorts - U.S. Fiction category will screen three Grad Film student productions:
BAMBIRAK (Above), AVA FROM MY CLASS
Ava From My Class, written and directed by student Youmin Kang, DPd by student Mélanie Akoka, produced by student Sharon Lee: Anna thinks Ava is the best actress in her class. The short is Kang’s 2nd year film, and will have its International Premiere at Sundance.
Bambirak, written and directed by alum Zamarin Wahdat: When 8 year old Kati hides in her fathers delivery van to spend "girlsday" with him, Faruk needs to juggle his new job in Germany and responsibilities as a father. “Bambirak” is Wahdat’s thesis film, produced by alum Joy Jorgensen, DPd by alum Lorena Duran and edited by alum Alan Wu & Professor Jenn Ruff.
The Touch of the Master's Hand, written and directed by student Gregory Barnes, produced by student Joan Lee Thompson: Troubled by an unnatural temptation, a young Mormon missionary must confess the humiliating depths of his pornography addiction. World Premiere.