This January 28 th the Sundance Film Festival will return in a format specially adapted for the COVID-19 era, featuring seven days of online premieres, talks and exhibitions uniting indie film lovers everywhere from the comfort and convenience of their homes and smartphones.
As the world continues to wait for normal service to resume, this January iwonder invites audiences into a world of Sundance Film Festivals past, headlined by the streaming return of the classic, Grizzly Man.
Featuring Official Selections, Audience Award recipients and Grand Jury Prize winners, this month iwonder invites audiences to immerse themselves in some of the iconic festival’s most celebrated films ahead of 2021’s online-only event.
#WernerHerzog #Sundance #AwardWinners #Nature
In celebration of Sundance, an all-time classic makes its streaming comeback this January, as this timeless film by acclaimed director, Werner Herzog, explores the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist, Timothy Treadwell.
Pieced together from Treadwell’s actual video footage, the Sundance Alfred P. Sloan Prize winner examines how Treadwell believed he had bridged the gap between human and beast and what drove him to live unarmed among a tribe of wild grizzly bears on an Alaskan reserve for 13 summers.
However, when one of the bears he loved and protected tragically turns on him, the footage he shot serves as a window into our understanding of nature and its grim realities.
#Sundance #AwardWinners #Politics
The Khmer Rouge ran what is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most brutal regimes.
Yet for decades the Killing Fields of Cambodia remained unexplained.
Winner of the Sundance World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize, in Enemies of the People the men and women who perpetrated the massacres – from the foot-soldiers who slit throats to the party’s ideological leader, Nuon Chea aka Brother Number Two – break a 30-year silence to give testimonies never before heard or seen.
#Sundance #AwardWinners #Culture
Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning Director Morgan Spurlock's social experiment into fast-food gastronomy made waves across the world, taking documentary making to the mainstream by putting McDonalds’ role in the obesity epidemic in America under the spotlight.
Attempting to subsist uniquely on food from the fast food giant’s menu for an entire month, Spurlock’s weight balloons, his energy level plummets, and he experiences all sorts of unexpected -- and terrifying – side effects.
Beginning life in September 1978 as the Utah Film Festival, increasing attendance led to the decision in 1981 to move the festival’s location to Park City Ski Resort.
With it also came the date change from September to January (where is has remained ever since) in the belief that since it was being held at a ski resort, there would be more people willing to attend the festival during US winters.
Picture credit: Barnaby Dorfman
In 1980 movie star Robert Redford gathered a group of colleagues and friends at the Sundance Mountain Resort he’d founded in Utah to consider if an institute could be created that reasserts the importance of craft, story, and the human being in the art and business of making movies.
Starting life in 1981 as a lab for 15 independent filmmakers to develop their original projects, just a few years later in 1985 the Sundance Institute assumed creative and administrative control of the U.S. Film Festival - later renamed the Sundance Film Festival – cementing Robert Redford’s involvement and influence with the event that still persists today.
Photo credit: George Biard
A decade through Sundance
In this month’s iwonder Top Five, we take a chronological walk through a decade of Sundance Official Selections, nominees and award winners, tackling topics including gender equality, society, politics and culture with intelligence, passion and an artful indie spirit.
Sundance Nominee, 2010: Just coming of age when the USSR collapsed, five Soviet children witnessed the world of their childhood crumble and change beyond recognition.
Through the lives of these former schoolmates, this intimate film reveals how they have adjusted to their post-Soviet reality in present-day Moscow.
Sundance Official Selection, 2011:Miss Representation explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, challenging the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.
Sundance Audience Award, 2012: A powerful investigative documentary, The Invisible War uncovers the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that perpetuate and suppress its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences.
Sundance Directing Award, 2014: A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage.
Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sundance Official Selection, 2018: A sumptuous documentary depicting the Long Island birthplace of stock car racing, where a single track remains and only the love and integrity of the track's community and elderly owners keep the bulldozers at bay.
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