independent festival


Kristen Stewart has starred in a total of seven different Sundance Film Festival titles including the rom-com favorite Adventureland in 2009 and 2010′s The Runaways, a biopic in which she plays legendary rock star Joan Jett. This year she returns for her directorial debut with the avant-garde short film Come Swim, which is described as “…a diptych of one man’s day, half impressionist and half realist portraits.” Come Swim is a part of Refinery29′s Shatterbox Anthology, a series of twelve short films helmed by women. 

© 2001 Rusty White/WireImage ; © 2016 Sundance Institute | Photo by Jonathan Hickerson ; © 2016 George Pimentel/WireImage ; © 2010 George Pimentel/WireImage ; © 2014 Sundance Institute | Photo by Jemal Countess ; Courtesy of Come Swim | Photo by Lindsey Byrnes


New ‘issue’ of Retronator Magazine is out (can I call it an issue every time I add an article?):

The new feature is about the Independent Games Festival nominees and honorable mentions that got announced yesterday. Well, their pixel art representatives: Hyper Light Drifter, Stardew Valley, Kingdom, Dropsy, Lion’s Song, Replica. You can read it here.


American Honey (2016)

Directed by Andrea Arnold

Cinematography by Robbie Ryan

An amazing fact of Diego Luna

I know I’ve talking a lot about him but he is so important to mexican cinema. 

Him, Pablo Cruz and Gael Garcia Bernal founded one of the most important film distribution companies in Mexico 


Also Diego and Gael created the Ambulante Film Festival a very important independent film festival.

They are amazing and I like to celebrate that.


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


Yesterday marks the anniversary of Sesame Street! On November 10th, 1969, Sesame Street debuted on television for the first time. The show was developed by Joan Ganz Cooney, a former public television documentary producer, in hopes to help educate underprivileged children on spelling, counting, and other skills, before they reached preschool. The show features a diverse set of characters, positive social messages, and has aired in over 120 countries worldwide. 

The above images are from The World According to Sesame Street followed by Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, which premiered at the 2006 and 2011 Sundance Film Festivals respectively. The World According to Sesame Street looks into the challenges of creating international adaptations of the show and features a segment about the introduction of an HIV positive character to the roster of muppets in South Africa. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey shows the life of Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who performs Elmo and infused the character with heart and soul. The film shows the early life and career of Clash who had dreamed of becoming a puppeteer working with Jim Henson since his childhood in Baltimore. 

Film stills courtesy of The World According to Sesame Street and Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey


Today The Eagle Huntress is released to theaters nationwide! The film came to the Park City for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and premiered in the Sundance Kids program. Speaking of eagles, Robert Redford is pictured above with an eagle at the Sundance Mountain Resort in this archival gem. You can watch a trailer for The Eagle Huntress here.

For 2,000 years, the Kazakh people of the Altai region in western Mongolia have practiced a tradition of hunting with golden eagles, whose wingspan can reach up to 7.5 feet wide. Though this practice has traditionally been the domain of men, Aisholpan decides that she wants to become an apprentice hunter after spending her childhood helping her father, a renowned eagle hunter, care for his birds. Under the tutelage and support of her father and her grandfather—and very few others—Aisholpan learns all aspects of falconry, from taming her very own eagle to training for an annual competition, where she will compete against 70 eagle hunters on her quest to gain acceptance. —P.H.

© 1980 for Sundance Institute, © 2016 Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage, 

Spa Night / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Ahn) — A young Korean-American man works to reconcile his obligations to his struggling immigrant family with his burgeoning sexual desires in the underground world of gay hookups at Korean spas in Los Angeles.

I was scouted through my Tumblr to audition for the lead in this film two Februaries ago and after an extensive year-long audition process, I luckily ended up an Art Director. To art direct a Sundance-selected indie was a college dream I didn’t know I’d accomplish so soon, and the fact that it’s an American film that showcases LGBT people of color made it that much more important. It shot over the month of June and the work was rewarding but grueling–I might have showered a total of maybe 6 or 7 times that month. I’m art directing one more short film, but I learned through this whole almost-serendipitous experience that I need a career change. I truly believe in the power of speaking things into existence so I’m saying this now, I will gain visibility as a storyteller through screenwriting and acting so that further down the line, I can use my platform and network to open an agency that solely represents LGBT/ethnic minority actors and screenwriters in an effort to diversify the film industry. That is the contribution I want to make in the world.