Film News: Virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival Kicks Off

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CHICAGO – The 2021 Sundance Film Festival heads into Day Three after Opening Night and a full slate of films for Day Two. This year’s festival is virtual and online, meaning anyone with a ticket or a pass can indulge in the film offerings throughout the festival, which runs until February 3rd.

For the premieres of 2021, the cutting edge potential influencer films and all the ancillary new voice filmmakers, the Sundance Film Festival is the one that begins every film year with the movies that ultimately become the talk of the town and the gatherer of year end awards. Your ticket to the festival is your chance to see these films and filmmakers before the general public.

Strawberry Mansion
Photo credit: Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is an annual event organized by the Sundance Institute – an organization founded by actor Robert Redford in 1980 – and dedicated to the growth of independent artists. It usually takes place each January in Park City, Utah, and other locations, and is the largest independent film festival in the United States. It includes competitive categories in documentary and dramatic films, both feature length and short works, as well as out-of-competition categories for showcasing new films.

StarFILMS OF SUNDANCE: Capsule Reviews

All the information about participating in the festival and the On-Demand film downloads can be accessed by clicking here.

“One for the Road” – Thai director Baz Poonpiriya weaves an epic tale of youth and pursuit, as two best friends take a Thailand road trip because one has cancer and feels the need to make amends along the way. This film highlights the sorrows of connection as much as the joy, as to what emotions flow when a person is taken away whether by death or break-up. And bonus, it celebrates bar culture with an array of tantalizing cocktails. Available On-Demand January 30th.

“The Most Beautiful Boy in the World” – Björn Andrésen was 15 years old when he starred as Tadzio opposite Dirk Bogarde in director Luchino Visconti’s adaptation of “Death in Venice” (1971). During the film’s Cannes premiere, Visconti proclaimed Andrésen to be “the world’s most beautiful boy.” The wild ride of his life afterward, both surreal and tragic, is a meditation on sudden fame in another age and the devastating effects of the past on the present. Haunting. Directed by Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri. Available On-Demand January 31st.

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It” – What is unknown about EGOT (Emmy-Grammy-Tony-Oscar) winning actor Rita Moreno becomes an exploration into the trials of being forced into stereotypical roles in her early studio system career (going back to the early 1950s), searching for work despite winning an Oscar (for “West Side Story” in 1961) and the sad and maddening #MeToo circumstances of patriarchal Hollywood. This portrait comes alive through her survival, and the many career turns she took to remain on top. Electric and emotional (and my interview with her is linked below). Available On-Demand January 31st.

“Strawberry Mansion” – It is the year 2035, and the federal government has found a way to tax our dreams. When an unctuous auditor visits an off-the-grid older woman who ignores the tax, the truth of the circumstance become clear. The film is beautiful and bizarre without ever going over the top, which is saying something considering the infinite possibilities of the subject matter. The visuals are a treat, bringing to life the subconscious fantasies of our uncontrollable REM state visions. Directed by Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney. Available On-Demand January 31st.

Clip from “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” in which she describes a scene with her ex-lover Marlon Brando

Read the 2011 interview with Rita Moreno and the other stars of “West Side Story,” in a 40th Anniversary interview … (CLICK HERE).

Patrick McDonald of will be providing coverage of the Sundance Film Festival 2021 throughout the duration of the festival.

The virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 28th through February 3rd. For tickets, schedule and all information click on senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2021 Patrick McDonald,

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