The Sundance Institute announced the full programming for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival to be held Jan. 19-29, 2023, in person in Park City, Salt Lake City and the Sundance Resort. The festival will also be held virtually from Jan. 24-29, 2023. This year’s hybrid festival includes films with cast and crew representing California Institute of the Arts across multiple categories and selected from a submission pool from filmmakers around the world.
“Maintaining an essential place for artists to express themselves, take risks, and for visionary stories to endure and entertain is distinctly Sundance,” said Sundance Institute Founder and President Robert Redford in the official release. “The Festival continues to foster these values and connections through independent storytelling. We are honored to share the compelling selection of work at this year’s Festival from distinct perspectives and unique voices.”
CalArtians are found across numerous categories in the Sundance 2023 program:
U.S. Documentary Competition
The history of New York’s Meatpacking District as told from the perspective of transgender sex workers lived and worked there. Filmmaker Kristen Lovell, who walked “The Stroll” for a decade, reunites her community to recount the violence, policing, homelessness, and gentrification they overcame to build a movement for transgender rights.
Directors: Kristen Lovell, Zackary Drucker (Art MFA 2007). Producer: Matt Wolf.
English, French with English subtitles
Nonfiction. Evolution and extinction from the point of view of rocks. A humid take on minerals, where sci-fi meets sci-fact. The geo-biosphere is a place of evolutionary possibility, where humans disappear, but life endures.
Director/Screenwriter: Deborah Stratman (Film/Video MFA 1995). Producers: Anže Peržin, Gaëlle Boucand, Deborah Stratman.
Short Film Program
Animation Short Film Program. A crush gone moldy…
Director/Screenwriter/Producer/Sound Design: Zhen Li (Film/Video MFA 2023). Original Score: Marc Riordan. Sound Mixer: Craig Smith.
Animation Short Film Program. An unlikely hero’s journey into his own memories becomes a vehicle for reconciliation and healing for himself and his sibling. Available online.
Director: Iyabo Kwayana (former CalArts School of Film/Video faculty). Producers: Chris Hastings, Maori Karmel Holmes, Nevo Shinaar.
United States, English. French, with English subtitles.
Fiction. Set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene in the 1970s and ’80s, chronicling a father-daughter relationship as it evolves from an era of bohemian decadence to the heartbreaking AIDS crisis. Based on the best-selling memoir “Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott.”
Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Durham. Producers: Sofia Coppola (Art 1994), Andrew Durham, Megan Carlson, Siena Oberman, Greg Lauritano, Laure Sudreau. Cast: Scoot McNairy, Emilia Jones, Geena Davis, Cody Fern, Adam Lambert, Maria Bakalova.
A hidden grassroots organization doggedly fights to expand access to abortion pills across the United States keeping hope alive during a global pandemic and the fall of Roe v. Wade. World Premiere. Documentary.
Director/Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos. Editor: Meredith Raithel Perry (Film/Video MFA 2010).
“To Live and Die and Live”
Fiction. Muhammad returns home to Detroit to bury his stepfather and is thrust into settling his accounts, but Muhammad’s struggles with depression and addiction may finish him before he finishes the task.
Director/Screenwriter: Qasim Basir. Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Qasim Basir, Amin Joseph, Dana Offenbach, Samantha Basir. Cast: Amin Joseph, Skye P. Marshall, Omari Hardwick, Cory Hardrict, Dana Gourrier (Theater MFA 2010), Maryam Basir.
Short Film Program
“Sunflower Siege Engine”
Movements of resistance are collapsed and woven together, from reflections of one’s own body in the world today to documentation of Alcatraz, the reclamation of Cahokia and the repatriation of the ancestors.
Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Sky Hopinka (former Visiting Artist and 2019 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts recipient)
Sound Design: Courtney Asztalos.
Director and Screenwriter: Samm Hodges. Producers: John Magaro, Matt McLaughlin, Jimmy Miller, Devin Tusa. Cast: Will Brill, Louisa Krause, Alexander Hubble (Theater BFA 2024), Daina Griffith. World Premiere. Available Online.
A missing wallet threatens to destroy a teenager’s life.
See the full festival programming at the official Sundance website.