HBO Max Unveils Virtual 'Our Stories to Tell' Programming for Sundance (Exclusive)

Elaine Welteroth, Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Alexander Hodge and Prentice Penny speak at the Lowkey "Insecure" Dinner presented by Our Stories to Tell at Firewood on January 25, 2020 in Park City, Utah.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO

While HBO hosted its Our Stories to Tell events in Park City last year (above), the 2021 series will be entirely virtual.

The multicultural series, taking over place the first weekend of the film festival, will feature panel discussions with HBO and HBO Max talent such as Holly Walker, Jamie Chung, Shangela and Leticia Dolera.

HBO Max is going virtual for its third annual "Our Stories to Tell" series at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The three-day event, which celebrates the streamer's commitment to multicultural storytelling and creators, will take place Jan. 29 through 31.

The mix of invite-only and public online events will spotlight the talent and executives who bring streamer’s award-winning programming to life, featuring conversations with such talent as Holly Walker (A Black Lady Sketch Show), Jamie Chung (Lovecraft Country), Shangela (We’re Here), and Leticia Dolera (Perfect Life).

"Since its inception in 2017, these Our Stories To Tell discussions have provided a space for connection and inspiration and have highlighted the impact of creativity when championing diversity within our culture and community, both on and off screen in all aspects of our programming," says Jackie Gagne, senior vice president of multicultural marketing at WarnerMedia. "Continuing this tradition at the first-ever virtual Sundance Film Festival allows us to engage with community members unable to attend Sundance in years past, democratizing the eye-opening opportunities the festival presents."

This year's virtual programming includes a panel featuring talent from HBO’s drag queen reality series We're Here and an exclusive fireside chat with literary icon Isabel Allende.

Additionally, on Friday and Saturday from 3-5 PM ET, HBO Max will also host The Craft Office Hours in partnership with The Creative Collective of NY. The mini breakout sessions, available on a first come, first served basis, will offer intimate mentorship sessions with behind-the-scenes talent.

For more information, visit ourstoriestotell.com.

Thursday, Jan. 28

7-9 PM EST / Here's To Us
Candid, invite-only conversations with creatives who are pushing the boundaries across various disciplines, hosted by Hot 97 radio personality Laura Stylez.

Friday, Jan. 29

2-3 PM EST / Living Out Loud, Here and Everywhere
We’re Here stars Eureka, Shangela and Bob the Drag Queen get real about their respective journeys, from coming into their own to building confidence.

3-5 PM EST / The Craft Office Hours in Partnership with CCNYC
Breakout mentorship sessions with Chilean novelist and icon Isabel Allende, producer Tiffany Chung, HBO documentary executive Sara Rodriguez, screenwriter Kristin Tucker (A Black Lady Sketch Show), TV/film writer and performer Shenovia Large, writer Kindsey Young, Emmy-winning filmmaker Rudy Valdez (The Sentence) and director Leticia Dolera (Perfect Life).

5-6 PM EST / Illuminating Black Art
Henry Louis Gates Jr., executive producer of the upcoming HBO documentary Black Art: The Absence of Light, in conversation with the doc's director, Sam Pollard, about the impact of Black artists on the art world. Moderated by Thelma Golden, chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem.

6-7 PM EST / Breaking Down Judas and the Black Messiah
Fred Hampton Jr., actress Dominique Fishback and costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones will discuss the making of the Warner Bros. movie about Hampton's father, the leader of the Black Panther Party. Moderated by multimedia creative and journalist Brandon Jinx.

9-11 PM EST / HERstory
The virtual party will feature multiple storytellers from different disciplines.

Saturday, Jan. 30

2-3:30 PM EST / HBO POV Presents: Masters in Craft featuring A Black Lady Sketch Show
A panel featuring some of the masterminds behind the sketch comedy series. Following the discussion, attendees will be able to have more intimate conversations in smaller breakout groups with talent including Shenovia Large, Kristin Tucker, Holly Walker and Kindsey Young.

3-5 PM EST / The Craft Office Hours in Partnership with CCNYC
Breakout mentorship sessions with award-winning Mexican-American writer-director and 2020 HBO Directing Fellow Emil Gallardo (1,2,3 All Eyes On Me), director Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings), costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones (Judas and the Black Messiah), writer Holly Walker (A Black Lady Sketch Show), and director Diana Peralta (De Lo Mio).

4-5 PM EST / Animation, But Make it Black
A conversation on the importance of representation and inclusion in animation, featuring Adult Swim's Loulou João and Alda Boyd and Black Women Animate founder and CEO Taylor Shaw. Moderated by Blerdcon creator Hilton George.

5-6 PM EST / HBO APA Visionaries - Taking the Lead
Jamie Chung (Lovecraft Country), Alexander Hodge (Insecure) and Leonardo Nam (Westworld) participate in a conversation exploring the impact and pride that Asian American talent can claim in learning to own their narratives. Moderated by The Hollywood Reporter senior editor Rebecca Sun.

6-7 PM EST / Masterclass: Pushing The Boundaries of Writing To Go Pa'lante!
Leticia Dolera, creator, writer and star of the new HBO Max series Perfect Life, hosts a masterclass on her process of making a specific-yet-relatable international series, from conception to reality.

7-7:45 PM EST / Fireside Charla with Isabel Allende
Allende dives into her career and upcoming HBO Max three-part series, Isabel. Moderated by Emmy-nominated television personality and journalist Liz Hernandez.

Sunday, Jan. 31

1 PM EST / Mentally, We’re Here
Attendees can choose from one of three sessions to help them set intentions for the remainder of the year:

  • Session 1: A guided meditation and yoga with Lauren Ash, founder of Black Girl in Om.
  • Session 2: Breathwork and movement with Jacqui Whang, well-being curator and founder of
    GirlSpace.
  • Session 3: Breathwork and chanting led by Afro-Dominican wellness instructors from
    Brujas of Brooklyn.