Film News: Virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival Keeps Delivering

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CHICAGO – The 2021 Sundance Film Festival is now in Day Four, offering over 20 premieres on January 31st. 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.

On the Count of Three
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, the On-Demand film downloads and status of accessibility is available by clicking here.

“How It Ends” – Co-writer/directors Zoe-Lister Jones and Daryl Wein deliver apocalyptic comedy that adds the right touch of poignancy. Jones portrays Liza, a woman who needs to search for something on the Last Day for Earth (a comet is coming). Accompanying her throughout the day is Young Liza (Caille Spaeny), her metaphoric teen tomboy from her past. Lister-Jones and Wein recruited their talented friends – including Whitney Cummings, Bradley Whitford, Nick Kroll and Olivia Wilde – for roles portraying the stops along Liza’s path. Who wouldn’t want to access their younger, fresher self to count down the hours of the last day? Funny, philosophical and deeply personal, this is the end of the world as they know it, and … Available On-Demand January 3!st.

“On the Count of Three” – Comic Actor Jerrod Carmichael deftly directs and stars in this pitch black comedy on coming to terms. Carmichael is Val, a dead-ender in a dead end town in which he sees no way out. After hearing that his institutionalized best friend Kevin (Christopher Abbott) has attempted suicide, Val goes to the mental clinic and busts his friend out, and convinces him to agree to a double suicide. The pair’s “last day” is full of revelations, leading to many outcomes. There is so much truth in this film, with underlying themes of mental health in America, man-boys, race and redemption. It’s also extremely funny, in addition to being a reflective and artistic director debut for Carmichael. Available On-Demand January 3!st.

“Ma Belle, My Beauty” – What happens when singer Bertie (Idella Johnson) can’t sing anymore? Her collaborator husband Fred (Lucien Guignard) calls her ex-lover Lane (Hannah Pepper-Cunningham), as they were part of a He-She-She relationship before their marriage. The mystery of the connection between Bertie and Lane is the key to this film, a delve into the physical and chemical connection between people and the messy emotions that get in the way. The acting is pitch perfect, and Johnson’s singing voice is heaven on earth. There are many hallways to go down in this three-way consortium. Directed by Marion Hill. Available On-Demand February 1st.

“Superior” – The duality of identical twins (portrayed by a real-life duo of Alessandra and Ani Mesa) is manifested through a story of Marian and Vivian, opposite ends of the same spectrum. Rock-and-Roller Marian is on the run, and shows up at Vivian’s door in a bland suburb. After Marian starts bunkering down, Vivian’s husband Michael (Jake Hoffman) wants her to contribute, so she starts working at an ice cream parlor, but her past is catching up with her. This film noir insight into the psychic language of twins contribute to many eerie moments, and Alessandra/Ani of course portray them instinctively, with a touch of sensuality. Directed by Erin Vassilopoulos. Available On-Demand February 1st.

Clip from a Sundance interview with co-writer/directors Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein of “How It Ends” on finding their recognizable cast and performing during the pandemic …

View the 2017 slideshow at “Transformers: The Last Knight,” featuring Jerrod Carmichael … (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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