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Sundance Next Fest will present the Sundance Institute Vanguard Leadership Awards to directors Quentin Tarantino and Dee Rees when the weekend fest takes place Aug. 10-13 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles.
The fifth Next Fest, and the fourth to take place at the Ace Hotel’s Theatre, will screen six new films and an episodic TV series that originally played the Sundance Film Festival in January.
The program will kick off with a Next Fest After Dark presentation of Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, marking that film’s 25th anniversary, followed by an outdoor opening-night party. Tarantino will become the fifth recipient of the Vanguard Award, celebrating creativity and leadership in independent film.
“Reservoir Dogs debuted as the festival’s most talked-about film in 1992 and 25 years later, it’s still a fresh, high-caliber thrillride, and more iconic than ever. I can’t think of a better way to kick off Sundance Next Fest than to showcase our history and what we’re all about,” Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth said Wednesday in a statement.
Rees, the writer and director of Pariah, Bessie and Mudbound, will also be recognized with a Vanguard Award, celebrating an emerging artist with creative independence. An alumna of Sundance Screenwriters, Creative Producing and Directors Labs, she has been the recipient of Sundance Institute’s Time Warner Fellowship and Annenberg Film Fellowship and premiered two feature films at Sundance, Pariah in 2011 and Mudbound in 2017.
The mini-fest’s program will include the L.A. premiere of the absurdist comedy Lemon, directed by Janicza Bravo, with a performance by vocalist Lizzo. The lineup will also include Next Fest’s first-ever episodic selection — a special screening of seven installments of the comedic drama Gente-fied, executive produced by America Ferrera; the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s Next Audience Award winner Gook; Bitch, starring Jason Ritter and Jaime King, paired with a performance by Sleigh Bells; the L.A. premieres of Dina, a documentary about an unconventional love story that took home the Grand Jury Prize in Park City; Alex Ross Perry’s latest film Golden Exits; and Michelle Morgan’s witty love letter to the City of Angels, LA Times, accompanied by a live performance by L.A.-based duo Electric Guest.
Commented Sundance director John Cooper: “This year’s weekend festival offers everything from a Sundance throwback to our first-ever Next Fest episodic screening; the perfect blend to give Angelenos a taste of our Park City Festival. A majority of these movies, filmmakers and musicians are from Los Angeles, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate hometown talent.”
Tickets ($15-$35), as well as day and weekend passes and tickets to the opening event, are now available at sundance.org/next. Proceeds benefit Sundance Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists.
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