Updated: Mar 10
A couple of weeks before the Sundance Film Festival, the decision was made to go 100% virtual. What a turnaround for them! They had to totally reschedule and revision the experience. In short order, they pivoted to create a seamless experience for all who attended
I kept my plans to be in Park City while watching a stunning and inspiring roster of feature length and short films, albeit on a much smaller screen.
... Speaking of film, the program, dates and Featured Guests for the Spring Online Screening Salon Series which starts on April 5th. I can't wait to be together with everyone, whether you attend one or all!
Check out 13 of them below as well as the hyperlinks for a taste of each one.
FEATURE FILMS: (more via hyperlinks)
Brainwashed: Sex, Camera, Power* : The title sums it up, but so do the 175+ film clips that drive home the point. (Scroll down for more on this important film.)
Good Luck, Leo Grande: What happens when a sensible-looking widow (Emma Thompson) decides, after a passionless 31-year marriage, to finally find out what all the fuss is about by hiring a young a professional to show her the ropes?
The Janes: I had NO idea about the grass roots community that helped SO many women get abortions decades ago.
892: A film that reflects the frustration of our times by way of a jittery, decorated Marine veteran (John Boyega) who, in a last ditch effort to do right by his daughter, decides to rob a bank. It reminded me of the suppressed anger that the basis for the film, Network.
Lucy and Desi: What a power couple! This is Amy Poehler's directorial debut with never before seen footage filmed from back in the day, thanks to Executive Producer, Lucie Arnaz. (This is not the film directed by Aaron Sorkin starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.)
To the End: Youth activism personified, the film follows 4 aspiring progressive U.S. politicians, all women, who had just been running for office in the 2018 election cycle -- one of the four was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the only one to win her race.
Fire of Love: Jaw-dropping footage of volcanoes in action. A love triangle consisting of two fearless women who perish while pursuing their passion for their other love -- uncovering the mysteries of volcanoes.
TikTok Boom: This film (not tick tick... BOOM, which was directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda) goes behind the scenes of this social media phenomenon through the stories of Gen-Z natives, journalists and media experts.
The Panola Project: This is how connection and community happens! The story of an unstoppable woman to vaccinate her rural, Black town of Panola, AL from the convenience store she runs out of a mobile home.
Love Stories on the Move: A glimpse into the life of a 36-year old female taxi driver who experiences her fares from the front seat, only to return each night to a husband that barely sees her.
Long Line of Ladies: The revival of a once-dormant coming of age ceremony of the Karuk tribe of Northern California that honors the transition of young girls upon getting their first period. This is the newest film produced by past SSR Featured Guest Melissa Berton who was with us with her film, Period, End of Sentence.
The Martha Mitchell Effect: The story of the unlikeliest of whistleblowers, a woman tried to take down President Nixon. A Republican cabinet member's wife, she was discredited by the Nixon Administration in 1972 to keep her quiet. Until now.then
* Another Helping of Brainwashed Sex-Camera-Power
An extra ripple to the feature documentary film, which is already garnering international attention. With over 100 film clips by A-list directors from the 1940s to the present, Brainwashed shows how what we see on the screen has contributed to the
inequality, discrimination and sexual harassment of women over the decades.
Directed and produced by Nina Menkes, this is a must-see in these times. Also a huge shout out to my dear and talented friend, Sandra de Castro Buffington who as Co-Producer, has been with the film from the very beginning. I can't wait to see the ripples created by this important film!
About the Festival and This Year's Picks:
The full slate included over 80 feature-length films representing 28 countries, and 39 of 92 (42%) feature film directors are first-time feature filmmakers. Fifteen of the feature films and projects were supported by Sundance Institute in development through direct granting or residency labs.
Over 75, or 91%, of the Festival’s feature films were world premieres.
These films were selected from 14,849 submissions, including 3,762 feature-length films. Of the 3,762 feature film submissions, 1,652 were from the U.S., and 2,110 were international.