Here’s our coverage video of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Interviews with Kristen Stewart, Selena Gomez, Spike Lee, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Ewan Mcgregor and more!
LOOK FOR OUR HIGHLIGHT VIDEO ABOUT OUR TIME AT SUNDANCE NEXT WEEK!
I was excited, along with my wife Heather, to cover the Sundance Film Festival this year as a press outlet. As filmmakers ourselves, we enjoy collaborating with indie filmmakers, actors and crew, and Sundance is no exception. We ventured out to various “press lines” and red carpets during our first week at Sundance to discover filmmakers that are creating thought-provoking films, similar to our own mission statement that reads: “transforming hearts and minds through film.” From documentaries to dramatic premiers, we found a lot of interesting projects that speaks to transformative, inspiring and thought-provoking messages.
Our first stop was at the premier of Resilience, directed by James Redford…yes, Robert Redford’s son. The latest film from James Redford (The D Word: Understanding Dyslexia, 2012 Sundance Film Festival) traces the developments in the field, featuring two of the doctors who pioneered this work and the health care professionals that are running the evidence. A simple survey initiates the discussion and provides the basis for a new understanding of what our culture is facing and how to best treat families dealing with “toxic stress.” I asked James about why he decided to produce the film: “Health issue to me are sort of in my fabric. In my own life story I’ve had my own issues with health and I understand the challenges of trying to come back from difficult situations.” An inspiring and life changing project for not just Redford, but the entire cast and crew. The animation and well-placed statistics punctuate the thoughtful film’s message that, now armed with this information, we can act quickly to mitigate the effects of a public health crisis.
We wanted to cover films that also involve the transformative power of music. Academy Award–nominated actor Don Cheadle—co-writer, director, and lead actor—remarkably captures the musical legend on film through an impressively orchestrated use of images and sounds. Varying cinematic rhythms and beats are used to create a singular and intoxicating viewing experience as Cheadle displays a deep understanding of the man and his music. His latest project which premiered at Sundance last week, Miles Ahead, is about inspired by events in Miles Davis’ life, this is a wildly entertaining, impressionistic, no-holds-barred portrait of one of twentieth-century music’s creative geniuses. Ewan McGregor stars in the film as the character, Dave Brill. McGregor stated during our interview, “His [Miles Davis] is all about the music and his influence in music in never ending.” Just like film, music is transformative for many people.
Equal parts road comedy and coming-of-age drama, director Taika Waititi masterfully weaves lively humor with emotionally honest performances by Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Never short on laughs, this touching story reminds us about the journey that growing up is (at any age) and those who help us along the way. I wanted to cover the premier of this film due to it’s underlining themes of freedom. When I talked with Waititi he told me that, “I think its the story about renegades and people fighting against the system and fighting for their freedom.” For more information on this film, visit the official website.
Director Spike Lee assembles a wealth of archival footage, interviews with contemporary talents and family members, and Michael’s own words and image to create this insightful chronicle of the star’s early rise to fame. An in-depth look at a chapter of his career that is rarely examined, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall allows audiences to travel with Michael as he gets his start at Motown, strikes a new path with CBS records, and forges a relationship with legendary producer Quincy Jones. An illuminated portrait emerges of how an earnest, passionate, hard-working boy would become the “King of Pop.” During our brief red carpet interview, Lee told me, “It’s music that brings us all together.” I agreed. Lee has created a film that brings forth Jackson’s ability to inspire millions of fans throughout the world through music. Now the original album, and the film, will be released together on CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray on February 26.
Heather and I then covered a couple of drama premiers including, “Love & Friendship”. Adapting Jane Austen’s unpublished early novella Lady Susan, director, Whit Stillman returns to the Sundance Film Festival (where his Metropolitan premiered in 1990) in top form with his latest comedy of manners. Kate Beckinsale excels in her role as the deliciously devious Lady Vernon and delivers each line with relish. With exquisite period detail and a script teeming with bon mots and witty dialogue, Love & Friendship is a rare—and rarified—treat. It’s true that we, as viewers, can pull pretty much anything we want from films…emotion, heartache, laughter, or even anger. I feel that every feel has a potential message if we decide to see it. When I asked Whitman about the underlining theme of the film, he said, “Well, there’s a song..the character is lovely played by Morfydd Clark…the Frederica character. I think it’s a traditional British song called, Love Will Find A Way. I think that might be it.”
We look forward to week number 2 at the Sundance Film Festival in search of powerful and thought-provoking films! We plan to talk to Rachel Weisz, Danny Glover and Kathy Bates about their new film, Complete Unknown. We also have plans to cover the new film, The Fundamentals of Caring starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez, and our last premier will be The Hollars on January 29th starring Anna Kendrick and John Krasinski.
For more information on our films, visit our website.
Imagine the implications if the causes of medical conditions such as heart disease could be linked to adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACEs. That very connection is carefully explored in Resilience, which sheds light on the repercussions of early life traumas. New research shows how the previously unconnected links are evident in the health outcomes of adults.
Matt Duhamel, Film Director at Metamora Films will hold a red carpet interview with the director of the documentary film, Resilience, on Friday the 22nd at the Sundance Film Festival. Duhamel says, “I’m attending Sundance this year to find films that are making a difference in the world. I’m honored to be speaking with James Redford about his film and his goal for his film company.”
Karen Pritzker and James Redford’s produced the film through their production company KPJR whose mission in filmmaking is to make films that not only educate, but make a difference. KPJR’s mission, which is extremely similar to Metamora Films’ mission, seem to be on the same track in terms of making a difference using the power of independent film.
In addition to a red carpet interview with Redford, Metamora Films has plans to attend numerous events and premiers in search of powerful and meaningful films.
Duhamel’s latest film project is a documentary focusing on the difficulties faced by ex-inmates during the search for housing. The film tentatively titled, “NOT FOR RENT!”, is scheduled for an early 2017 release.
An Evening Under The Horseshoe…You are all invited to a FREE night of entertainment in beautiful, historic Spring City, Utah. The premier will be held November 21st, 2015, 7pm at the 100-year old Victory Hall. There will be live entertainment from the stage, dessert, reception, Q and A with the film’s director, Matt Duhamel, and of course the premier of the short documentary film, “Life Under The Horseshoe.” (watch the trailer)
“Life Under The Horseshoe” is a family-friendly film with historic and family history elements. You’ll meet the hosts and producers of the life, stage radio show which broadcasts during the summers on KMGR “Classy FM“. The film also highlights the uniqueness of Spring City and the fun characters that currently reside there. The film also highlights the historical Victory Hall, a one-hundred-year-old restored vaudeville theater on Main Street, and “Spit & Whittle” Avenue, where Charlie (1885-1936), son of Simon Beck, had a bench the women of the town called the “Bummer’s Bench.”
So join us November 21st, 2015 at 7pm in Spring City for an evening under the horseshoe! Bring your friends and family…the tickets are free. For more information, please call: 385-290-7940 or email us anytime.
Joni Yung, Executive Producer and Host of Yoga Chat with the Accidental Yogist recently interviewed film director, Matt Duhamel about his film, The Forgiveness Journey. The film is being featured at the 2015 Awareness Festival on September 19th in Santa Monica, CA. Yung and Duhamel discussed the process of forgiving in our lives, his arrest and conviction in 2006, and how American Society views forgiving others. Yung also focuses on one story in the film in particular: a man named Arnold who survived a suicide attempt leaving him blind and disfigured.
Tickets to the Awareness Festival and The Forgiveness Journey are still available. For more information, visit the festival’s ticket website.