The Essential: Sundance NEXT FEST ’16 Preview

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Sundance NEXT FEST at The Theatre at Ace

Sundance NEXT FEST will bring the cinephiles out to DTLA August 12-14 for a full weekend of film, music, comedy and creative fuel. The Theatre at Ace Hotel will play host to the summer festival, screening six new films straight from the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The unique formatting means each screening is paired with either a live performance or a compelling conversation with special guests. Though the festival has put together a bonafide program full of events all worth attending, we’ve pulled a couple highlights for you below.

Saturday features White Girl with a post-screening conversation between Elizabeth Wood, (the film’s screenwriter and director) and Catherine Hardwicke (director of Thirteen and Twilight). White Girl has generated enough heated dialogue to make this a weighty dialogue about the director’s intentions and her thoughts on all the buzz.

Under the Shadow (2016)
Under the Shadow (2016)

Making his directorial debut with the horror thriller Under the ShadowBabak Anvari epitomizes the ethos of the festival which prides itself in providing a stage for voices from all over. The Farsi-language film is set in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War, a place already full of  turmoil but Anvari ups the ante, adding an element of the supernatural into the underbelly of things. Following the screening, Babak Anvari will chat with John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers) and Simon Barrett, screenwriter of Blair Witch (2016), a cinematic trio too good to pass up.

Morris from America (2016)
Morris from America (2016)

How does a hip hop loving father/son duo moving to Germany sound? Morris From America is part coming-of-age story part smart-comedy. It’s a youthful take on living abroad and forging an identity in the midst of all the newness. A youth talent show will be hosted by the star comedian himself, Craig Robinson, following the screening.

If you want to dive into your work week with a smile, Downtown and Dirty Shorts is your ticket. Hosted by Nick Kroll (Kroll Show), five of the best comedy shorts will be presented back to back for what is sure to be a hilarious time.

Also, be sure to keep a look out for live performances by electro-pop singer Shamir, Brooklyn band Sunflower Bean and the NOLA-based rapper Big Freedia

If you didn’t have plans this weekend, now you do. Tickets are still available so don’t be the last to see what’s next.

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