The word Sundance to cinephiles tends to be synonymous with images of Robert Redford against a backdrop of snow-covered Utah. However, now it’s possible to sample the Sundance films in London. Sundance Film Festival: London 2019, is taking place 30 May – 2 June at Picturehouse Central, London. The four- day mini-festival will include feature films (fiction and documentary), short films, and panel discussions.
The festival will present 12 feature films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, U.S.A., opening with the UK gala of Late Night (Nisha Ganatra), written by and starring Mindy Kaling alongside Emma Thompson. The festival will close four days later with the UK premiere of Penny Lane’s documentary, Hail Satan?.
Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said: “Society relies on storytellers. The choices they make, and the risks they take, define our collective experience. The slate at this year’s Sundance Film Festival: London is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions and entertainment. In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in pursuit of truth and art; culture reaps the reward.”
Other films in the festival include The Nightingale, Jeniffer Kent’s highly anticipated follow up to The Babadook; Animals, by Sophie Hyde, whose debut 52 Tuesdays won the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic at Sundance 2014; After the Wedding (Bart Freundlich) the US remake of Susanne Bier’s similarly titled award winning film; The Death of Dick Long, Daniel Scheinert’s follow up to Swiss Army Man, and many other features. If you want to see something different, how about Suicide By Sunlight (Nikyatu Jusu) about black female vampires in New York!
There is also a strong line-up of documentary films. In addition to the closing night film Hail Satan?, there is The Brink (Alison Klayman), which follows former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as he expands his far-right campaigning from the United States across the globe, Ask Dr. Ruth (Ryan White), a portrait of one of America’s most famous sex therapists and Apollo 11 (Todd Douglas Miller), a never-seen-before immersive portrayal of the 1969 moon landings.
The festival will also highlight the work of industry pioneers with a series of panel discussions, Q&As and special guest appearances. For cinephiles living in Europe the London Sundance Film Festival is a welcome addition to the European film festival circuit. It should be warmer than its US namesake; though with London, you never know!