Canadian presence at Sundance and Slamdance

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With plenty of premieres, features, docs, and shorts, Canadian projects will be in the (virtual) spotlight this winter at the Sundance Film Festival and the Slamdance Film Festival, which are making the most of their respective online platforms to share films, events, awards, and more! Here’s all you need to know about Canada’s virtual presence at both fests.

Sundance

Sundance will take place online from January 28 to February 3, 2021, and also include some physical events such as drive-ins and community partnerships. Focusing on this year’s vibrant digital festival, which includes online film screenings, talks, plus the XR and emerging media section, we’re excited to have two Canadian features in the running, both making international premieres, plus an award-winning coproduction, shorts, and more:

Midnight:

Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli’s Violation

A woman seeks revenge after being betrayed by her sister and sister’s husband in this

Talent Fund-supported feature. This Canadian filmmaking duo previously took Slamdance by storm with their 2018 short Woman in Stall, which scored a Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short. Starring Sims-Fewer, their new horror feature premiered at TIFF, where she was named a TIFF Rising Star.

Violation

Spotlight:

Philippe Lacôte’s Night of the Kings (La nuit des rois)

Set in an Ivory Coast prison, this Ivory Coast-France-Canada-Senegal coproduction premiered at the Venice International Film Festival before heading to TIFF, where it picked up an Amplify Voices award. A prize-winning festival circuit favourite, the film tells the story of a man who has to save his life by captivating his fellow prisoners with his storytelling. (P.S. It’s also Ivory Coast’s official Academy Awards submission for the Best International Feature Film category!)

Night of the Kings

Shorts:

  • Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s Black Bodies 
  • Alisi Telengut’s The Fourfold
  • Annie St. Pierre’s Like the Ones I Used to Know

New Frontier:

Brett Gaylor, Nicolas Bourniquel, Arnaud Colinart’s Fortune!

Made to be experienced on social media and personal devices like your tablet or phone, this France-Canada coproduced AR series of animated shorts is a documentary look at our connection to money!

Slamdance

This very accessible, virtual version of Slamdance goes online from February 12 to 25, 2021, fully loaded with online screenings, awards, workshops, panels, and more! For a limited time, you can get your free 2021 Slamdance Film Festival Virtual Pass right here.

Slamdance is also debuting Unstoppable, a new program featuring filmmakers with disabilities and content representing disabled communities. The program’s mission is to “amplify the contributions of the disabled community and advocate for their rightful inclusion in our industry”. Canada’s got two shorts in this selection (see below)!

All together, we’ve got seven shorts at the 27th edition of Slamdance, plus a feature making its world premiere in the coveted opening night film slot:

Simon Lavoie’s No Trace (Nulle Trace)

Set in the future, the story is about two women whose destinies are intertwined, a truth unbeknownst to either when one (named N) smuggles the other across the border with her child. As the festival opener, this drama will also have a drive-in screening in Joshua Tree.

Shorts:

  • Lev Lewis’s Every Day’s Like This 
  • Sarra El Abed’s Ain’t No Time for Women
  • Aziz Zoromba’s Faraway
  • Susanne Serres’s My Layers (Selected for Unstoppable)
  • Camille Hollett-French and Ipek Ensari’s ENDOMIC (Selected for Unstoppable)
  • Alexis Chartrand’s The Danger in Front

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