30th Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2024 Lineup

30th-Slamdance-Film-FestivalThe 30th Slamdance Film Festival, the artist-led “by filmmakers for filmmakers” organization, has announced its full film lineup for 2024. Celebrating 30 years of discovering industry-changing talent, the festival will come full circle, returning to the Yarrow Hotel in Park City, where it all started.

Kicking off with a screening of Oscar-winning filmmaker Carol Dysinger’s epic documentary One Bullet, this year’s festival will showcase an accessible lineup of 32 features, of which 17 are World Premieres, 75 shorts, and five episodics. On-site screenings and events will be held in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah from January 19-25th and online screenings will be available on the Slamdance Channel from January 22-28th.

“Our 2024 Slamdance lineup is a testament to filmmakers who dare to push their stories to the very edge of filmmaking, making it deeply personal yet globally resonant,” said Festival Director Taylor Miller. “Their raw passion and risk-taking echo our commitment to exploring uncharted territories of cinematic expression. This year, we proudly host the most inclusive and accessible festival we’ve ever had, staying true to the core objectives I aimed to cultivate with our programmers when I took this job.”

A celebration of emerging filmmaking talent from around the world, this year’s lineup consists of 113 films – 17 of which are World Premiere features – hailing from 20 countries including Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Palestine, Russia, and the UK (United Kingdom) among others. The 2024 programming was selected from more than 9,000 submissions, 1,729 of which were features. As in previous years, all films selected in the Narrative Features and Documentary Features competition categories are directorial debuts without U.S. distribution, with budgets of less than $1 million.
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Bradley Cooper To Receive Outstanding Performer of the Year Award At SBIFF

Bradley-Cooper-SBIFFBradley Cooper will receive the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the 39th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Cooper will be honored on Thursday, February 8, 2024 for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Leonard Bernstein in MAESTRO from Netflix.

Bradley Cooper, born in Philadelphia, is an acclaimed actor, filmmaker, writer, and producer. A nine-time Oscar nominee, Grammy winner, and Tony nominee, Cooper’s directorial debut A STAR IS BORN, which he co-wrote, produced, starred and directed garnered 8 Oscar nominations. Following the success of his producorial work, Cooper started his production company Lea Pictures in 2020, which includes his much-anticipated film MAESTRO.

“Nine-time Oscar® nominee Bradley Cooper has proven to be an actor of incredible range and versatility. What has impressed me the most is that he has grown to be one of the most indelible directing voices . He’s a renaissance man – an outstanding performer indeed!” SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling noted.

MAESTRO is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. A love letter to life and art, MAESTRO at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love.
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Colorado’s Stanley Hotel will host Sundance Institute’s Signature Directors Lab in 2024

The nonprofit global arts organization Sundance Institute and the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado announced today that the Stanley Hotel will host the Institute’s signature Directors Lab in 2024 with support from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). For over four decades, Sundance Institute labs have brought together promising new independent storytellers with accomplished artists to develop new work and build a long-lasting, vibrant community.

The Directors Lab nurtures diverse, original voices through an immersive filmmaking experience over two to three weeks every summer. Connected to nature, the lab creates a safe, inclusive space for first-time feature directors to rehearse, shoot, and edit scenes that will build their skills working with actors, exploring text, and finding the visual language and aesthetic for their films.

For over 40 years, the Directors Lab has taken place in the founding location of the Sundance Resort in Utah. Next year, the lab will relocate to Colorado while construction in outdoor areas and primary shooting locations takes place to enhance the Sundance property.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to bring the Directors Lab to the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. In identifying a host for our Directors Lab, it was essential to find a space that was surrounded by nature for artists to create, had multiple environments for shooting, and could be an environment where artists could leave behind the distractions of everyday life and immerse themselves in their projects. We are deeply grateful to both the Stanley Hotel and the state of Colorado for welcoming the Directors Lab to Colorado,” said Michelle Satter, founding senior director of artist programs at Sundance Institute.
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2023 SFFILM Rainin Grant Recipients Announced

SFFILM has announced the recipients for the 2023 SFFILM Rainin Grant, the flagship artist development program offered by SFFILM’s artist development initiative known as SFFILM Makers. The announcement is in in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.

Seventeen filmmaking teams have been selected as recipients of the SFFILM Rainin Grant which includes $425,000 in funding and professional support for their narrative projects at different stages of production.

“Giving independent films and filmmakers the resources they need to thrive is the core of our work at SFFILM,” said SFFILM’s Executive Director Anne Lai. “Our long partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has helped to develop filmmakers from around the world whose voices and stories may not have had the chance to become films without this kind of essential support.”

The SFFILM Rainin Grant program is the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the US, and supports films that address social justice issues—the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges—in a positive and meaningful way through plot, character, theme, or setting. Awards are made to multiple projects once a year, for screenwriting, development, and post-production. Recipients are offered a cash grant up to $25,000 for screenwriting and development, post-production as well as a two-month residency at FilmHouse, SFFILM’s premier artist residency space.
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Mark Ruffalo To Be Honored With American Riviera Award At 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Mark Ruffalo will be honored with the American Riviera Award at the 39th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Ruffalo will receive the award on Sunday, February 11, 2024 at an in-person conversation about his career, leading up to this year’s performance as Ducan Wedderburn in the upcoming Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things.”

Emmy winner and three-time Academy Award® – nominee Mark Ruffalo is one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors. Ruffalo will next be seen in Yorgos Lanthimos and Searchlight Pictures’ “Poor Things” and Bong Joon Ho’s “Mickey 17.” Ruffalo was nominated for Academy Awards for his roles in “Spotlight,” “Foxcatcher” and “The Kids are Alright.” He won the Emmy and the Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of twin brothers in “I Know This Much is True,” and also won a Screen Actors Guild for his role in Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart.”

Ruffalo’s commitment extends beyond the silver screen, as exemplified in his lead role in “Dark Waters,” a film which leveraged the power of storytelling to shed light on the urgent need for environmental protections. His advocacy for clean energy and environmental and social justice aligns seamlessly with the stories and characters he brings to life on screen.
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Lily Gladstone, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Greta Lee, Charles Melton being honored at 2024 SBIFF

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is honored has announce the first group of recipients to receive the Virtuosos Award, an honor created to recognize a select group of talent whose noteworthy performances in films this season have elevated them into the national cinematic dialogue.

Lily Gladstone, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Greta Lee, and Charles Melton will discuss their work and receive their awards in-person on Saturday, February 10 during the 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The evening will be moderated for the 14th year by Dave Karger, Turner Classic Movies host and Entertainment Weekly awards correspondent. The second group of Virtuosos Awards recipients will be announced next month by the festival.

“Our first four Virtuosos honorees are among the most interesting and exciting performers working today, and they all play unforgettable roles in some of the year’s best films. I’m so excited at the prospect of chatting with each of them in Santa Barbara in January” remarked Dave Karger.

The last four year’s Virtuosos honorees were Austin Butler, Kerry Condon, Danielle Deadwyler, Nina Hoss, Stephanie Hsu, Jeremy Pope, Ke Huy Quan, Jeremy Strong, Caitriona Balfe, Ariana DeBose, Jamie Dornan, Alana Haim, Ciarán Hinds, Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Simon Rex, Saniyya Sidney, Riz Ahmed, Maria Bakalova, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Andra Day, Sidney Flanigan, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Zendaya, Awkwafina, Taron Egerton, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Aldis Hodge, George MacKay, Florence Pugh, and Taylor Russell.

The 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place LIVE February 7 – February 17, 2024.
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Pat Mitchell to Receive Vanguard Award for Philanthropy at Sundance Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala: Celebrating 40 Years Presented by Chase Sapphire®

The nonprofit Sundance Institute today revealed an additional honoree of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival’s fundraiser, Opening Night Gala: Celebrating 40 Years Presented by Chase Sapphire®, which will take place on January 18, 2024, at the DeJoria Center in Utah. The gala, which kicks off the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival, celebrates individuals who have made notable contributions to the storytelling landscape. This year, former Sundance Institute Board Chair and trustee Pat Mitchell will receive the Vanguard Award for Philanthropy, recognizing her exemplary commitment to the Institute’s support and to philanthropy for social impact.

As previously announced, the Opening Night Gala will also recognize Christopher Nolan, who will be honored with the inaugural Sundance Institute Trailblazer Award. Celine Song and Maite Alberdi — who premiered their films Past Lives and The Eternal Memory, respectively, at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival — will each receive the annual Vanguard Award Presented by Acura.

The annual Opening Night Gala enables the nonprofit to raise critical funds to support independent artists year-round through labs, grants, and public programming that nurture artists globally. The 2024 event is made possible with the generous support of Chase Sapphire and the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. The upcoming Sundance Film Festival will take place January 18–28, 2024, in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as online from January 25–28.

“It is with immense excitement that we will honor Pat Mitchell at our Opening Night Gala,” said Joana Vicente, Sundance Institute CEO. “Beyond being a stalwart champion of the role of media and storytelling as an agent for social change, Pat is a fierce advocate for gender and racial equality, and in all her diverse roles and responsibilities — as a journalist, documentary producer, and media executive — has supported the stories and ideas that move us forward toward a more equitable future. Pat’s career and commitments of her time and resources epitomize what it means to be a leader for positive change. I am honored to celebrate Pat and the boundless value of independent storytelling as we near the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival.”
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Robert Downey Jr. To Receive The Maltin Modern Master Award At 39th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is honored to announce that cinema icon Robert Downey Jr. will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award, its highest accolade, at the 39th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Downey Jr. will receive the prestigious award on Friday, February 9, 2024.

The ceremony will include an in-person conversation between Downey and legendary film historian and critic Leonard Maltin, for whom the award is named. The duo will discuss Downey’s expansive five-decade acting career, his rise to becoming one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful actors to date, culminating in his recent searing, indelible performance as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan’s staggering, global cinematic phenomenon, Oppenheimer.

Robert Downey Jr. is a two-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner who has amassed more than 110 acting credits over the course of his career, including the title character in the blockbuster Iron Man franchise, which launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and reshaped the last 15 years of global cinema. He earned a Golden Globe Award for his lead performance in the action-adventure Sherlock Holmes, and two Academy Award nominations for Tropic Thunder, and his powerful portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough’s 1992 biopic Chaplin. Upcoming acting projects include Max’s TV adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer, in which he plays an impressive four supporting roles, and the Paramount Pictures remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller Vertigo.

“Robert Downey Jr. has staged one of the most spectacular second acts in show business history…and we in the audience are the beneficiaries. He commands the screen without any visible effort, which is perhaps the greatest feat of all,” said Leonard Maltin.
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Christopher Nolan to Be Honored with Inaugural Sundance Institute Trailblazer Award at 2024 Sundance Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala

The nonprofit Sundance Institute today unveiled details for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival’s fundraiser, Opening Night Gala: Celebrating 40 Years Presented by Chase Sapphire® which will take place on January 18, 2024 at the DeJoria Center in Utah. Kicking off the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival, the evening will honor trailblazing and breakout storytellers, as well as celebrate 40 years of Sundance’s commitment to elevating independent storytelling. Christopher Nolan will be honored with the first-ever Sundance Institute Trailblazer Award. Celine Song and Maite Alberdi — both of whom premiered films Past Lives and The Eternal Memory, respectively, at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival — will each receive the annual Vanguard Award Presented by Acura.

The annual opening night gala enables the nonprofit to raise critical funds to support independent artists year-round through labs, grants, and public programming that nurture artists globally. The 2024 event is made possible with the generous support of Chase Sapphire. The upcoming Sundance Film Festival will take place January 18–28, 2024 in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as online from January 25–28.

“As we step into the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival, it is a distinct honor to recognize Christopher Nolan, a prodigious artist whose singular talent and remarkable body of work have made him one of the most respected filmmakers of our time. We are looking forward to spotlighting the unique voices of both Celine and Maite, storytellers we have been supporting and deeply believe in. All three of these storytellers represent Sundance’s values,” said Joana Vicente, Sundance Institute CEO. “From the Festival to our year-round programs, it is artists that have and always will be at the very core of what we do. We look forward to our guests joining us at the Opening Night Gala and, in turn, enabling us to continue championing independent storytellers and their art that adds great value to our culture.”
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Seven Filmmakers Selected For The 2023 Film Independent Producing Lab

Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards, announced today the producers selected for its annual Producing Lab, now in its twenty-third year. This intensive program is designed to help creative, independent producers develop their skills and further their careers by introducing Fellows to film professionals who can advise them on both the craft and business of independent producing. Each Producing Lab Fellow will be paired with an experienced Creative Advisor with whom they’ll work to develop their project over the course of the program.

This year’s lead creative advisor is Rebecca Green and guest speakers include Jason Michael Berman, Apoorva Charan, Marissa Frobes, Nate Kamiya, Kristen Konvitz, Stephen Lee, Alex Lo, Lauren Mann, Jack Pearkes, Shira Rockowitz, Anita Surendran, Sheila Hanahan Taylor, Jeanette Volturno, Lena Vurma and Maria Zuckerman.

“We’re delighted to shepherd this group of devoted creative producers through the Producing Lab and give them a dedicated space to further their projects and careers. We’re thrilled to have feature films both in development and post-production in the program this year and be able to support producers at various stages of the filmmaking process,” said Dea Vazquez, Associate Director of Fiction Programs.

Film Independent is awarding a total of $80,000 across two grants – the Sloan Producers Grant and Sloan Distribution Grant – to outstanding projects whose screenplays integrate science or technology themes and characters into dramatic stories. The Grants are part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s nationwide film program to advance public understanding of science and technology.
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