Sundance Institute Archives

Since 1981, Sundance Institute has supported thousands of independent film and theatre artists with its artist development programs and its annual Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute Archives is dedicated to preserving and facilitating access to the work of these independent film and theatre artists and the material that documents their artistic processes in the creation of this work. Learn more or donate.
With Labor Day fast approaching, we’re reminded that millions of hardworking Americans, whether toiling away at jobs they resent, tolerate, or unabashedly love, deserve a day of rest.  If you’re feeling especially bad about your current line of work, surely the occupations featured in 5 Sundance Films That Prove Your Job Could Be Worse will bring some levity to the situation.Celebrate Labor Day with Kevin Smith’s 1994 Festival film Clerks, Chris Smith’s 1996 American Job, Tim Nackashi and David Sampliner’s 2004 Dirty Work, and Kyle Alvarez’s 2013 Festival film C.O.G.Film stills courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives

With Labor Day fast approaching, we’re reminded that millions of hardworking Americans, whether toiling away at jobs they resent, tolerate, or unabashedly love, deserve a day of rest.  If you’re feeling especially bad about your current line of work, surely the occupations featured in 5 Sundance Films That Prove Your Job Could Be Worse will bring some levity to the situation.

Celebrate Labor Day with Kevin Smith’s 1994 Festival film Clerks, Chris Smith’s 1996 American Job, Tim Nackashi and David Sampliner’s 2004 Dirty Work, and Kyle Alvarez’s 2013 Festival film C.O.G.

Film stills courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives

Director Thomas Allen Harris first attended the Festival in 2002 with his documentary That’s My Face and most recently returned to premiere Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.A rich and lyrical tapestry that is both personal and epic in scope, Thomas Allen Harris’s extraordinary documentary is a unique examination of the way black photographers—and their subjects—have used the camera as a tool for social change from the time photography was invented to the present.  Through a Lens Darkly is a powerful and elegant engagement with the burden of representation and serves as a testament to the redemptive powers of creativity.Through a Lens Darkly is part of a larger transmedia project that includes the website/traveling roadshow Digital Diaspora Family Reunion, which invites audiences to share and upload their own family photographs and participate in the creation of a national family archive that can form communities.You can catch Through a Lens Darkly at NYC’s Film Forum August 27 – September 9 and learn more about the Digital Diaspora Roadshow here.Photo by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Director Thomas Allen Harris first attended the Festival in 2002 with his documentary That’s My Face and most recently returned to premiere Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

A rich and lyrical tapestry that is both personal and epic in scope, Thomas Allen Harris’s extraordinary documentary is a unique examination of the way black photographers—and their subjects—have used the camera as a tool for social change from the time photography was invented to the present.  Through a Lens Darkly is a powerful and elegant engagement with the burden of representation and serves as a testament to the redemptive powers of creativity.

Through a Lens Darkly is part of a larger transmedia project that includes the website/traveling roadshow Digital Diaspora Family Reunion, which invites audiences to share and upload their own family photographs and participate in the creation of a national family archive that can form communities.

You can catch Through a Lens Darkly at NYC’s Film Forum August 27 – September 9 and learn more about the Digital Diaspora Roadshow here.

Photo by 
Thomas Sayers Ellis

Over 13 years before premiering The One I Love, alongside Mark Duplass, director Charlie McDowell, and screenwriter Justin Lader during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Elisabeth Moss attended the Sundance Institute Directors Lab as an actor in 2001 (top photo).In acclaimed author Charlie McDowell’s highly original directorial debut, The One I Love, Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass deliver delightfully wry and engaging performances as a couple on the verge of dissolution. McDowell injects his distinct, comedic voice into this uncanny exploration of the human relationship—with welcomingly unpredictable results.

Check out an interview with Moss here where she discusses Mad Men, exploring intense relationships, and The One I Love.The One I Love opens in select cities on Friday, August 22 and expands on August 29. Photos by Doug Emmett and Jeff Vespa

Over 13 years before premiering The One I Love, alongside Mark Duplass, director Charlie McDowell, and screenwriter Justin Lader during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Elisabeth Moss attended the Sundance Institute Directors Lab as an actor in 2001 (top photo).

In acclaimed author Charlie McDowell’s highly original directorial debut, The One I Love, Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass deliver delightfully wry and engaging performances as a couple on the verge of dissolution. McDowell injects his distinct, comedic voice into this uncanny exploration of the human relationship—with welcomingly unpredictable results.

Check out an interview with Moss here where she discusses Mad Men, exploring intense relationships, and The One I Love.

The One I Love opens in select cities on Friday, August 22 and expands on August 29.

Photos by Doug Emmett and Jeff Vespa

Aubrey Plaza first attended the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 with Mystery Team.  She returned in 2014 for the premiere of Life After Beth and just last week screened the film during Sundance NEXT FEST.Imitating what Dr. Frankenstein did with his monster, writer/director Jeff Baena assembles disparate parts of his Life After Beth into a new whole and jolts fresh life into it. By fusing elements of a young love story and a zombie movie, he concocts a wickedly funny and shockingly poignant film. With its killer soundtrack and all-star cast, including Aubrey Plaza, whose distinctive delivery has never been used to greater effect, and Dane DeHaan, who perfectly embodies the suffering of a young man with a broken heart and a rotting girlfriend, Life After Beth will leave you dying to see it again.Learn more about the film and director, with an interview from the 2014 Festival here. Life After Beth opens in select cities and on DIRECTV August 15.Film still/photos by Greg Smith and Alberto E. Rodriguez

Aubrey Plaza first attended the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 with Mystery Team.  She returned in 2014 for the premiere of Life After Beth and just last week screened the film during Sundance NEXT FEST.

Imitating what Dr. Frankenstein did with his monster, writer/director Jeff Baena assembles disparate parts of his Life After Beth into a new whole and jolts fresh life into it. By fusing elements of a young love story and a zombie movie, he concocts a wickedly funny and shockingly poignant film. With its killer soundtrack and all-star cast, including Aubrey Plaza, whose distinctive delivery has never been used to greater effect, and Dane DeHaan, who perfectly embodies the suffering of a young man with a broken heart and a rotting girlfriend, Life After Beth will leave you dying to see it again.

Learn more about the film and director, with an interview from the 2014 Festival here

Life After Beth opens in select cities and on DIRECTV August 15.

Film still/photos by Greg Smith and Alberto E. Rodriguez

Though extinct for 66 million years, a tyrannosaurus rex named Sue made an appearance during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in director Todd Miller’s documentary, Dinosaur 13. Dinosaur 13 chronicles an unprecedented saga in American history and details the fierce battle to possess a 65-million-year-old treasure. With consummate skill, filmmaker Todd Miller excavates layer after layer, exposing human emotion in a dramatic tale that is as complex as it is fascinating.Learn more about the film and director, with an interview from the 2014 Festival here.Dinosaur 13 opens in theatres and on-demand on August 15.Photo by Todd Miller

Though extinct for 66 million years, a tyrannosaurus rex named Sue made an appearance during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in director Todd Miller’s documentary, Dinosaur 13. 

Dinosaur 13 chronicles an unprecedented saga in American history and details the fierce battle to possess a 65-million-year-old treasure. With consummate skill, filmmaker Todd Miller excavates layer after layer, exposing human emotion in a dramatic tale that is as complex as it is fascinating.

Learn more about the film and director, with an interview from the 2014 Festival here.

Dinosaur 13 opens in theatres and on-demand on August 15.

Photo by Todd Miller

Sundance NEXT FEST this weekend at Ace Hotel Downtown LA!Fueled by the renegade spirit of independent artists, Sundance NEXT FEST is a new breed of festival experience celebrating the intersection of music and film.  NEXT FEST is happening throughout the weekend, with the Los Angeles premieres of six new films, each marked by unfettered creativity and paired with either a special music performance that embodies a shared artistic sensibility, or a conversation that brings together filmmakers with those who inspired them.Check out the full line-up of films and panels here.

Sundance NEXT FEST this weekend at Ace Hotel Downtown LA!

Fueled by the renegade spirit of independent artists, Sundance NEXT FEST is a new breed of festival experience celebrating the intersection of music and film.  NEXT FEST is happening throughout the weekend, with the Los Angeles premieres of six new films, each marked by unfettered creativity and paired with either a special music performance that embodies a shared artistic sensibility, or a conversation that brings together filmmakers with those who inspired them.

Check out the full line-up of films and panels here.



Director Nadav Schirman premiered his documentary, The Green Prince, during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won the World Cinema Audience Award.Based on Mosab Hassan Yousef’s memoir, Son of Hamas, The Green Prince is a story of two men, spy and handler, whom history insists must be adversaries. That they could reach a point of trust or friendship seems absurd. Embroidering a tangled web of intrigue, terror, and betrayal, Nadav Schirman builds superb tension throughout a surprisingly emotional journey. Ultimately, The Green Prince is less about political struggle than personal coming-to-terms with responsibility and moral duty.Check out the Wherein Lies the Truth? panel from the 2014 Festival, featuring Jeremiah Zagar, Jesse Moss, Todd Miller, Nadav Schirman, and Patricia Finneran.The Green Prince opens in select theatres on August 8.Photo by Calvin Knight

Director Nadav Schirman premiered his documentary, The Green Prince, during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won the World Cinema Audience Award.

Based on Mosab Hassan Yousef’s memoir, Son of Hamas, The Green Prince is a story of two men, spy and handler, whom history insists must be adversaries. That they could reach a point of trust or friendship seems absurd. Embroidering a tangled web of intrigue, terror, and betrayal, Nadav Schirman builds superb tension throughout a surprisingly emotional journey. Ultimately, The Green Prince is less about political struggle than personal coming-to-terms with responsibility and moral duty.

Check out the Wherein Lies the Truth? panel from the 2014 Festival, featuring Jeremiah Zagar, Jesse Moss, Todd Miller, Nadav Schirman, and Patricia Finneran.

The Green Prince
opens in select theatres on August 8.

Photo by Calvin Knight



Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo received a Sundance Documentary Film Grant in 2012 for Rich Hill, and then workshopped the film during the 2013 July Documentary Edit and Story Lab.  Tragos and Palermo premiered Rich Hill alongside the subjects of the film, Andrew, Appachey, and Harley during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won the U. S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary.Filmmaking cousins Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo embark upon an immersive and dazzlingly cinematic journey into the lives of Andrew, Harley, and Appachey, three Rich Hill boys navigating the often-treacherous road between childhood and adolescence. Despite the isolation and deprivation of their individual circumstances, they long for the same things we all want: a nice house, dinner on the table, and a healthy, loving family. Droz Tragos and Droz Palermo’s intimate connection to their subjects serves as a window into a too-often bleak environment, where simply getting by is considered a success, but the hope for a normal life and a brighter future persists. Find out more about the film through an interview with the directors from the 2014 Festival.Rich Hill opens in select cities Friday, August 1 and will be available On Demand August 5.Photos by Andrew Droz Palermo, Jill Orschel, Colby D. Crossland / WireImage, and Fred Hayes / WireImage
 

Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo received a Sundance Documentary Film Grant in 2012 for Rich Hill, and then workshopped the film during the 2013 July Documentary Edit and Story Lab.  Tragos and Palermo premiered Rich Hill alongside the subjects of the film, Andrew, Appachey, and Harley during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won the U. S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary.

Filmmaking cousins Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo embark upon an immersive and dazzlingly cinematic journey into the lives of Andrew, Harley, and Appachey, three Rich Hill boys navigating the often-treacherous road between childhood and adolescence. Despite the isolation and deprivation of their individual circumstances, they long for the same things we all want: a nice house, dinner on the table, and a healthy, loving family. Droz Tragos and Droz Palermo’s intimate connection to their subjects serves as a window into a too-often bleak environment, where simply getting by is considered a success, but the hope for a normal life and a brighter future persists. 

Find out more about the film through an interview with the directors from the 2014 Festival.

Rich Hill opens in select cities Friday, August 1 and will be available On Demand August 5.

Photos by Andrew Droz Palermo, Jill Orschel, Colby D. Crossland / WireImage, and Fred Hayes / WireImage

 

Nearly 10 years before becoming an interstellar adventurer in the Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt attended the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, along with Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris and director Paul Dinello for the premiere of Strangers with Candy (pictured above all making their best Jerri Blank face).James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is chock–full of Sundance alum, including Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close to name a few.Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theatres nationwide on Friday, August 1.Photo by J. Vespa / WireImage

Nearly 10 years before becoming an interstellar adventurer in the Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt attended the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, along with Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris and director Paul Dinello for the premiere of Strangers with Candy (pictured above all making their best Jerri Blank face).

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is chock–full of Sundance alum, including Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close to name a few.

Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theatres nationwide on Friday, August 1.

Photo by J. Vespa / WireImage

Joe Swanberg has directed, written, and produced 17 films since 2005, three of which have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, including Uncle Kent, V/H/S, and most recently Happy Christmas, starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Lena Dunham, and Swanberg’s son (pictured above with his father during the film’s Q&A).Swanberg brings his signature voyeuristic approach to filmmaking in Happy Christmas, offering a refreshing and candid look at complicated family interactions. His wonderfully imperfect characters pull each other out of their respective ruts and bring a strikingly human element to a story we all know well. Learn about Swanberg’s inspiration for the film, building strong female characters, budgets, and the mumblecore movement with a one-on-one interview here.Happy Christmas is currently available on VOD and iTunes and opens in select theatres on Friday, July 25.Photo by Calvin Knight

Joe Swanberg has directed, written, and produced 17 films since 2005, three of which have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, including Uncle Kent, V/H/S, and most recently Happy Christmas, starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Lena Dunham, and Swanberg’s son (pictured above with his father during the film’s Q&A).

Swanberg brings his signature voyeuristic approach to filmmaking in Happy Christmas, offering a refreshing and candid look at complicated family interactions. His wonderfully imperfect characters pull each other out of their respective ruts and bring a strikingly human element to a story we all know well. 

Learn about Swanberg’s inspiration for the film, building strong female characters, budgets, and the mumblecore movement with a one-on-one interview here.

Happy Christmas is currently available on VOD and iTunes and opens in select theatres on Friday, July 25.

Photo by Calvin Knight