fred hayes

It was TV history made in a moment. Goofy 13-year-old Cyrus Goodman came out as gay by confiding to his good friend Buffy that he had a crush on a boy. That boy is cool kid Jonah Beck, who just started dating Cyrus and Buffy’s best friend, Andi Mack.

The show is the Disney Channel’s hit tween dramedy, Andi Mack. And it’s the first time the channel has featured a coming-out story for a teen in a live action show. The series hinted that Cyrus might have a crush on Jonah through its first season, but Friday’s episode was the moment when Cyrus finally said it out loud.

In one tender scene, we saw Cyrus admit he was in the closet and crack the door open wide enough for his friend Buffy to see inside. That would be a complex storyline for any series to handle, let alone one featuring tween characters worried about homework and school sports along with questions about who is dating whom.

It makes sense that the storyline would happen on Andi Mack.

A Boy With A Crush On A Boy — And For The Disney Channel, A First

Photo: Fred Hayes/Disney Channel


Band Aid (2017)

Band Aid, the refreshingly raw, real, and hilarious feature debut from Zoe Lister-Jones, is the story of a couple, Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Ben (Adam Pally), who can’t stop fighting. Advised by their therapist to try and work through their grief unconventionally, they are reminded of their shared love of music. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to turn all their fights into song, and with the help of their neighbor Dave (Fred Armisen), they start a band. A story of love, loss, and rock and roll, Band Aid is a witty and perceptive view of modern love, with some seriously catchy pop hooks to boot.

Directed by:   Zoe Lister-Jones

Starring:   Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Fred Armisen, Retta, Susie Essman, Jamie Chung, Brooklyn Decker, Colin Hanks, Hannah Simone, Jesse Williams, Ravi Patel, Erinn Hayes

Release date:   June 2, 2017


Twenty years ago, filmmaker Kimberly Peirce came to the 1997 Sundance Directors Lab to workshop her film Boys Don’t Cry. The film is based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena—a trans man from the small town of Falls City, Idaho, portrayed by Hilary Swank—who adopts his male persona among an unaware new group of friends. As he tries to find love and acceptance in his newfound social circle, he begins a relationship with Lana Tisdel (played by Chloë Sevigny), who doesn’t know about his gender history. The intense story eventually culminates with the cruel and violent crimes committed against Brandon by two of his acquaintances. 

Director and writer Kimberly Peirce is pictured above at the Directors Lab at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Provo, Utah, working with actress Summer Phoenix (sister of River and Joaquin) as she workshops the script. Boys Don’t Cry was released two years after her time at the Directors Lab. In 2000, Swank took home both an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Brandon, and Sevigny received nominations for both an Oscar and Golden Globe as well.

© 1997 Fred Hayes for Sundance Institute. Film stills courtesy of Boys Don’t Cry.


Val Kilmer met his future wife, Joanne Whalley, on the set of the 1988 cult fantasy film Willow. A few years later, Whalley served as a resource actress for the 1992 summer Directors Lab at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Provo, Utah, and Kilmer came to visit her with their daughter Mercedes in tow. In the summer of 2017, 25 years later, Val and Joanne’s other child, Jack, came to the Sundance Resort as a resource actor himself! Jack is pictured above working alongside creative advisor, Ed Harris, fellow, Aleem Kahn on the set Kahn’s project, After Love

© 1992 John Schaefer for Sundance Institute, © 1992 Sandria Miller for Sundance Institute, © 2017 Sundance Institute | Photo by Fred Hayes


Yesterday marked the anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. In celebration, we bring you Park City’s Egyptian Theatre! Construction on the theatre began in 1922, around the time archaeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Inspired by this discovery and under the supervision of Egyptologist C.R. Berg, the theatre was adorned with obelisks, hieroglyphics, and lotuses, among several other Egyptian motifs. The Egyptian has been the iconic venue for the Sundance Film Festival since the inaugural Festival in 1985.

© 1991 Sandria Miller for Sundance Institute, © 2016 Sundance Institute | Photo by Stephen Speckman, © 2000 Fred Hayes for Sundance Institute, © 2016 Sundance Institute | Photo by Jonathan Hickerson


RuPaul and Tammy Faye Bakker Messner enjoy ice cream cones during the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, where they were in attendance for the premiere of The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

RuPaul was also featured in Sundance titles Wigstock: The Movie and But I’m a Cheerleader. 

© 2000 | Photos by Fred Hayes/WireImage


The 2000 Sundance Film Festival introduced us to the talents of director Karyn Kusama and actress Michelle Rodriguez with the premiere of Girlfight, which won the Directing Award and shared the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. 

“We have to accept that making movies is a never-ending process of occasional progress, frequent setbacks, and unexpected curveballs being thrown our way. Navigating that process requires stamina, curiosity, openness, and creative fire.”  - Karyn Kusama

Still courtesy of Girlfight | Photo by James Bridges ; Photos © 2000 Fred Hayes/WireImage


Catherine Hardwicke premiered her first film, Thirteen, at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, where she won the Directing Award. Since then she has gone on to direct notable films such as Lords of Dogtown, Red Riding Hood, and Twilight. Hardwicke has also played a prominent role in the Sundance Directors Lab where she has served as a Creative Advisor since 2005. 

Still courtesy of Thirteen, © 2009 | Fred Hayes for Sundance Institute, © 2003 Fred Hayes/WireImage

Watch on

Check out the new trailer for director/screenwriter Dee Rees’ film Bessie, starring Queen Latifah as acclaimed jazz singer Bessie Smith.

Dee Rees and Queen Latifah are both Sundance alum.  Latifah attended the Festival in 2007 with Life Support, while Rees screened her short Pariah in 2008, attended the 2008 Directors Labs to workshop her feature Pariah, and premiered the feature during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, where she accepted the Excellence in Cinematography Award for her cinematographer Bradford Young (on the phone pictured above).

Bessie premieres May 16 on HBO.

Photos by George Pimentel / WireImage, Fred Hayes, and Jemal Countess / WireImage