sundance movie

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Euzhan Palcy: Trailblazing black female filmmaker

After French West Indian filmmaker Euzhan Palcy’s debut film, Sugar Cane Alley, earned her France’s distinguished César Award for best first work in 1984, an impressed Robert Redford personally invited her to attend the 1985 Sundance Institute Filmmakers Lab (depicted in the above photos). There she workshopped her adaptation of the novel A Dry White Season, about South Africa’s then still-prevalent apartheid. A few years later MGM would produce the movie, making Palcy the first black female director to helm a major Hollywood studio title. Her dedication to an unrelentingly accurate portrayal of apartheid in the film drew Marlon Brando out of his self-imposed, years-long retirement to accept a role that earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, and made Palcy the first black director—male or female—to direct an Oscar-nominated performance.

Photos: © 1985 Roger Christiansen | Courtesy of the Sundance Institute Archives

Call Me By Your Name dir. Luca Guadagnino

Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.

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The indie superhero movie Sleight hits theaters nationwide on Friday, April 28. First-time director J.D. Dillard presented Sleight at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it competed in the NEXT category for bold, pure works with an innovative and forward-thinking approach to storytelling. 

After a young street magician is left to care for his little sister following their mother’s passing, he turns to dealing drugs, but he quickly runs into trouble with his supplier. When his sister gets kidnapped, he must rely on his smarts and sleight of hand to save her.

Check out the the trailer here!

© 2016 Sundance Institute | Photo by Stephen Speckman © 2016 Sundance Institute | Photo by Stephen Speckman ; Poster courtesy of Sleight ; © 2016 Photo by Robin Marchant/WireImage

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Director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s debut and award-winning feature As You Are is now available on iTunes. One of the youngest directors to be accepted into feature-length competition at Sundance, Joris-Peyrafitte co-wrote, co-scored, acted, and directed a stellar, young cast featuring Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, and Amandla Stenberg.

Set in the early 1990s, As You Are unfolds as a series of disparate memories. Prompted by a police investigation, we witness alternating perspectives of pivotal moments in the relationship between three teenage friends: Jack, Mark, and Sarah. Bound by their aversion to the culture around them, Jack and Mark explore the limits of friendship and love until Mark’s judgmental father tears them apart.

Just as Jack and Sarah are adjusting to life without Mark, he gets unexpectedly thrown back into their lives. The two boys struggle to navigate complex emotions that are compounded by the disapproval they feel from all around. Ultimately, tensions rise to a boiling point, and tragedy echoes through their world.

Film still courtesy of As You Are ; Photo credit: © 2016 Sundance Institute | Photo by Calvin Knight.