Sundance Institute has pulled back the curtain on the films and music acts set to headline the LA festival from August 7-10.
NEXT FEST, an extension of the NEXT Weekend initiative from 2013, will open on August 7 at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with the previously announced tenth anniversary screening of Jared Hess’ Napoleon Dynamite.
Also featuring are six entries from this year’s Sundance Film Festival – three from the NEXT section and three from other strands.
There will be a screening of Life After Beth on August 8 paired with a performance by singer-songwriter Father John Misty.
August 9 brings a screening of Kumiko The Treasure Hunter followed by a conversation with director David Zellner, co-screenwriter Nathan Zellner and a special guest, as well as a screening of Listen Up Philip followed by a conversation between director Alex Ross Perry and a special guest.
The same day will also feature a screening of best of NEXT audience award winner Imperial Dreams and a performance by R&B siren Tinashe.
On August 10 the festival presents The Guest followed by a conversation between director Adam Wingard and a special guest, as well as A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and a performance by Warpaint.
“It’s the natural evolution of the NEXT energy we have brought to the festival and that comes from the filmmakers themselves who are a little more on the edge,” said director of the Sundance Film Festival John Cooper. “It was something we wanted to celebrate.”
Turning to the NEXT section in Park City itself, Cooper continued: “At first there was a lot of curiosity about it and now I feel we have collected this group of people what are starting to understand it like we do. It’s constantly evolving, which makes it hard to put a finger on, it but I think it’s the essence of Sundance in general.”
He added that the kind of filmmakers who broke out at Sundance before the NEXT section launched but who might embody its ethos would include Jay and Mark Duplass and Gregg Araki.
“Some of the most popular films out of the [Sundance Film Festival] are from NEXT and that’s why we started [NEXT FEST],” said Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth. “We wanted to carve out a space for the kind of films NEXT represents.”
All screenings will take place at the Theater at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles.
Sundance NEXT FEST is supported by principal sponsors Acura and YouTube. Additional sponsors include Kickstarter, KCRW 89.9, Beachside Films, FilmL.A., Southwest Airlines and Stella Artois.