Park City, Utah - January 24, 2020: The Sundance Film Festival 2020 kicked off its eleven day celebration showcasing artists in film, theater and media. The festival was founded in 1981 by Academy Award winning actor and philanthropist Robert Redford. This year's event feature panel conversations, movie premieres and exhibitions that began Thursday, January 23rd and ends Sunday February 2nd. The country’s largest film festival had been gathering in Utah since 1985 with over 100,000 people convening at theaters and sponsored venues in Park City, Salt Lake City and Sundance, Utah.
The Sundance Film Festival 2020 received 15,100 film submissions from 142 countries with 244 feature-length and short films selected for competition. The festival has always been a media attraction with over 1200 accredited press members covering the event.
Keri Puttnam, Sundance Institutes' Executive Director says the Sundance Film Festival is known to be a gathering place for artists, change-makers, and independent-minded people. “But it’s also the idea that art conveys deeper truths and shines a light on varied, human experiences that can, in a way, open our minds,” explains Putnam, “and help us all to be bolder, more connected, and more imaginative."
Award winning playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda is a guest panelist this year at Sundance. He says artists can make a difference with their contribution. “What artists can do is bring stories to the table that are unshakably true – the sort of stories that, once you’ve heard them, won’t let you return to what you thought before.”
One of the many event conversations scheduled at the festival was held Friday morning with guest panelists discussing writing methods in the Defining the Next Era of Storytelling event. The standing-room-only presentation was sponsored by Quibi, creator of the first premium video entertainment platform built exclusively for mobile.
Packed with festival goers, media and filmmakers, the event was moderated by Quibi’s founder and chairman of the board Jeffery Katzenberg, who was joined by guest panelists and Quibi creators, Lena Waithe, Veena Sud and Kailtin Olson.
Katzenberg introduced Quibi’s groundbreaking concept in the entertainment industry and showcased some of their new programming produced by the guest panelists: Flipped, a new comedic series starring Kaitlin Olson, You Ain't Got These, starring Lena Waithe and The Stranger, written and directed by Veena Sud.
Other Hollywood stars like Jennifer Lopez, Liam Hemsworth, Catherine Hardwicke and Guillermo Del Toro are also creating content for Quibi. The ‘on-the-go' mobile viewing service is scheduled to launch April 6th and will offer viewers new episodes of movie-quality shows delivered in 10 minutes or less.
Another special event at The Sundance Film Festival at Park City this weekend was HBO’s Our Stories To Tell panel. Hosted by Lowkey Insecure Dinner, the event was held Saturday night with an intimate reception and panel conversation in celebration of the upcoming season of Insecure set to premiere April 12th on HBO.
Insecure cast members Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Prentice Penny, Jay Ellis, and Alexander Hodge participated in the panel conversation moderated by Elaine Welteroth. Lowkey Insecure Dinner was part of Our Stories to Tell, a 3-day pop-up experience that celebrates HBO, TNT and TBS’ commitment to multicultural storytelling, creators and audiences.
About the Author: Don Howze is an Emmy Award Winning Film/Tape Editor and Associate Professor of Journalism and Television Production. His Emmy Nominated documentary ' A Star For Marvin Gaye' will premiere this fall on Amazon Prime Video. Don is a credentialed press member covering The Sundance Film Festival 2020 with a three-part report for ChicagoNow.com: The Art of New Media. imdb.me/dondvideo