Sundance Film Festival 2021 goes virtual with diverse offerings. Here's how to watch at home.
Film writer Lindsey Bahr of The Associated Press ponders the future of movie theaters post-pandemic. (Dec. 10) AP Domestic
How to watch Sundance films
The festival is taking place digitally via online platform and in person on satellite screens across the country from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.
Movie lovers can take part at home with single ticket purchases on the Sundance website. For $15, you can virtually attend a film premiere or on demand screening for any day of the festival except for Awards Day on Feb. 3.
Each ticket is first-come, first-served and some screenings are already sold out.
For $25, you can also purchase the Explorer Pass, which allows you to view all screenings, but only once.
"Once you start your screening, you’ll have four hours to finish it. You can pause the film, but you must resume watching it before the four hour window closes," the site explains.
Sundance film lineup
This year's lineup offers a wide swath of storytelling.
The festival opened its digital doors with "Coda," starring Eugenio Derbez and Marlee Matlin, which tells the story of a hearing child born to deaf adults. There's Rebecca Hall's directorial debut "Passing," starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, which follows two Black women "who can 'pass' as white and choose to live on opposite sides of the color line in 1929 New York."
And like Wright, whose "Land" will debut at the festival (she stars opposite Demián Bichir), comedian Jerrod Carmichael brings his directorial debut "On the Count of Three," which stars Tiffany Haddish, Christopher Abbott and Henry Winkler. "Two guns. Two best friends. And a pact to end their lives when the day is done," reads the film's description.
Questlove's directorial debut, "Summer Of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)" unearths unseen footage born from the massively attended Harlem Cultural Festival, held during the same summer as Woodstock.
Diversity at Sundance
Programmers clearly focused on increasing representation. Of the 72 feature films selected for the 2021 Sundance slate, 47% were directed by one or more women; 3% were directed by one or more non-binary individuals; 43% were directed by one or more filmmakers who identify as BIPOC; 8% by one or more filmmakers who identify as LGBTQ+.
And among the 140 films and projects hitting Sundance, the festival said 50% were directed by one or more women; 4% were directed by one or more non-binary individuals; 51% were directed by one or more artists of color; 15% by one or more people who identify as LGBTQ+.
The festival said data reflects information provided directly by the artists. Some chose not to self identify in all data areas.
“The work in this year’s program is groundbreaking, imaginative, and formally daring,” said Kim Yutani, the festival’s director of programming, in a statement. “With over half the program made by first-time directors, a sense of discovery remains true to us at Sundance. This year's festival presents irrefutable evidence that despite the challenges, the independent voice is as strong as ever.”
“Togetherness has been an animating principle here at the Sundance Institute as we’ve worked to reimagine the Festival for 2021, because there is no Sundance without our community,” said Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford in a statement. Redford stepped back as the face of the festival in 2019.
Sundance is known for spotlighting indie hits - and Hollywood's next big director. Recent critically-acclaimed films hailed at the festival include "Palm Springs," "Promising Young Woman," "The Farewell," "Honey Boy," "Boys State," "The Big Sick" and "Call Me By Your Name."