Sundance Film Festival: London returns to Picturehouse Central from Thursday 30 May to Sunday 02 June, bringing you the best of the annual festival from across the pond.
Priority booking for Picturehouse Members opens on Friday 19 April. General booking opens on Tuesday 23 April.
Visit Picturehouses.com/sundance for booking information.
Explore the programme.
Opening Night | European Premiere
Director: Nisha Ganatra.
Starring: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Paul Walter Hauser, Reid Scott, Amy Ryan.
Legendary late-night talk show host’s world is turned upside down when she hires her only female staff writer. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline.
European Premiere | Presented in association with Time Out
Director: Sophie Hyde.
Starring: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat.
After a decade of partying, Laura and Tyler’s friendship is strained by Laura’s new love and her focus on her novel. A snapshot of a modern woman with competing desires, at once a celebration of female friendship and an examination of the choices we make when facing a crossroads.
After the Wedding
Director: Bart Freundlich.
Starring: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup, Abby Quinn.
Seeking funds for her orphanage in India, Isabelle travels to New York to meet Theresa, a wealthy benefactor. An invitation to attend a wedding ignites a series of events in which the past collides with the present while mysteries unravel. Based on the Academy Award®-nominated film by Susanne Bier.
Director: Patrick Brice.
Starring: Demi Moore, Ed Helms, Jessica Williams, Karan Soni.
Disaster strikes when the egotistical CEO of an edible cutlery company leads her long-suffering staff on a corporate team-building trip in New Mexico. Trapped underground, this mismatched and disgruntled group must pull together to survive.
The Death of Dick Long
Director: Daniel Scheinert.
Starring: Michael Abbott Jr., Virginia Newcomb, Andre Hyland, Sarah Baker, Jess Weixler.
Dick died last night, and Zeke and Earl don’t want anybody finding out how. That’s too bad though, cause news travels fast in small-town Alabama.
Director: Lulu Wang.
Starring: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, Jiang Yongbo.
A headstrong Chinese-American woman returns to China when her beloved grandmother is given a terminal diagnosis. Billi struggles with her family’s decision to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness as they all stage an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time.
The Last Tree
Director: Shola Amoo.
Starring: Sam Adewunmi, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Denise Black, Tai Golding, Nicholas Pinnock.
Femi is a British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire, moves to inner London to live with his mum. Struggling with the unfamiliar culture and values of his new environment, teenage Femi has to figure out which path to adulthood he wants to take.
Director: Jennifer Kent.
Starring: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr, Damon Herriman, Harry Greenwood, Ewen Leslie.
1825. Clare, a young Irish convictwoman, chases a British officer through the Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of Aboriginal tracker Billy, who is marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.
Following the last two Surprise Films, Bart Layton’s crime flick American Animals and the hit rap story Patti Cake$, Sundance Film Festival: London will again feature an unannounced screening. Details will only be revealed as the opening credits roll, but this was a favourite among audiences in Utah. With just one screening, this will be one of the festival’s hottest tickets.
Director: Alison Klayman.
Now unconstrained by an official White House post, Steve Bannon is free to peddle influence as a perceived kingmaker with a direct line to the President. After anointing himself the leader of the “populist movement,” he travels around the U.S. and the world spreading his hard-line anti-immigration message
UK Premiere | Winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing
Director: Todd Douglas Miller.
A purely archival reconstruction of humanity’s first trip to another world, featuring never-before-seen 70mm footage and never-before-heard audio from the mission.
Ask Dr. Ruth
Director: Ryan White.
A documentary portrait chronicling the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America’s most famous sex therapist. As her 90th birthday approaches, Dr. Ruth revisits her painful past and her career at the forefront of the sexual revolution.
Closing Night | UK Premiere
Director: Penny Lane.
A look at the intersection of religion and activism, tracing the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history. The Temple is calling for a Satanic revolution to save the nation’s soul. But are they for real?
Two wide-ranging collections of new short films from the UK and around the world
2019 Sundance Film Festival UK Shorts
A selection of new shorts with diverse styles and unique stories, including animation, drama, romance, documentary and comedy, showcasing the vibrant talent creating short films in the UK today.
2019 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour
A 96-minute theatrical program of seven short films selected from this year’s Festival, widely considered the premier showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers for more than 30 years. Including fiction, documentary and animation from around the world, the 2019 program offers new audiences a taste of what the Festival offers, from sharply-written comedy and drama to edgy genre and an intimate family saga.
Discussions with renowned guest speakers providing incredible insights into the filmmaking process.
Embracing Risk: Be Bold, Be Brave
Panellists: Stephen Kijak (Director, We are X); Alison Klayman (Director, The Brink), Marie Therese Guirgis (Producer, The Brink); Daniel Scheinert (Director, The Death of Dick Long); others to be announced.
Coinciding with the festival’s emphasis on risking independence, join leading documentary and narrative filmmakers for a discussion across genres about the art and necessity of risk-taking in their work, the ways in which they’ve eschewed conventions, and the advantages of leaving comfort behind in order to tackle urgent and daring stories.
Shorts to Features: A Two-Way Street
Panellists: Shola Amoo (Director/Screenwriter, The Last Tree), William Oldroyd (Director, Lady Macbeth).
Join Sundance Senior Programmer Mike Plante in conversation with UK filmmakers about the process of moving into feature filmmaking after working on shorts, the differences in craft with each medium, and the ways in which one has informed the other.
Comedy and Collaboration
Panellists: Sam Bain (Screenwriter, Corporate Animals); Patrick Brice (Director, Corporate Animals).
Join leading directors and writers as they share and discuss their process of crafting comedy and keeping their material fresh and provocative. Director Patrick Brice, who was first at Sundance with the uproarious The Overnight, and writer Sam Bain, co-creator of the BAFTA award-winning television sitcom Peep Show, discuss their collaboration on their new film, Corporate Animals, a sharp dark comedy that satirises and pushes office culture to its unexpected, side-splitting limits.
Creative Risk – It Takes A Village…
Panellists: Shaheen Baig (Casting Director, Animals, The Last Tree); Todd Douglas Miller (Director, Apollo 11); Mdhamiri Á Nkemi (Editor, The Last Tree); Stil Williams (Cinematographer, The Last Tree); Renee Zhan (Director/Screenwriter, Reneepoptosis); others to be announced.
It takes a village to make an independent film, and the freedom that risk-taking unlocks can be found across disciplines in every stage of the creative process, and one that confident filmmakers embrace. Artists and key contributors to some of the films in our line-up will participate in an open conversation about how risk-taking and pushing limits has influenced their work and outlook in their respective crafts.
Women and Independence
Panellists: Sophie Hyde (Director, Animals); Kate Muir (Writer, activist for Time’s Up UK and Birds’ Eye View); Kim Yutani (Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival); others to be announced .
As streaming platforms and digital viewership continue to reshape the way we experience films and the industry looks towards expanding inclusivity through a new wave of voices, what does the future of independent film look like for women from across the industry now, both on and off screen? What does it mean to be independent in this changing media landscape? Join us for an engrossing conversation with a cross-section of industry and artists who will unpack what independence has come to mean to them, and the ways in which we can catalyse meaningful change. Vital UK industry players will join Sundance Director of Programming Kim Yutanim, novelist and critic Kate Muir and festival filmmaker Sophie Hyde (Animals) alongside other special guests.
Sundance Ignite: London
Sundance Ignite continues its partnership with Adobe with a special event at Sundance Film Festival: London for emerging filmmakers ages 18-25. The all-day programme takes place at Picturehouse Central on 31 May and includes free screenings, workshops and meet-and-greet opportunities with UK-based industry members.
In keeping with the festival’s diverse selection of women on screen who don’t automatically conform to the restrictive model of ‘strong female heroine’, this year’s repertory strand presents three films from past editions of the Sundance Film Festival in Utah that honour a tradition of complexity and nuance in representation.
Winne of Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance 2014
Director: Sophie Hyde.
In Animals director Sophie Hyde’s moving and conceptually daring debut feature, a young woman comes of age messily in Adelaide against the backdrop of her mother’s gender transition.
Winner of World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic at Sundance 2010
Director: David Michôd.
David Michôd’s striking debut, a moody Aussie crime thriller, features an Oscar-nominated performance from Jacki Weaver as the monstrous matriarch of a crime family.
Winner of Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic, Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic and Special Jury Prize for Acting (Mo’Nique) at Sundance 2009
Director: Lee Daniels.
Lee Daniels’ blistering first feature stars Gabourey Sidibe as a mixed-up teen who finds a way out of drudgery and abuse.