Now in its fourth year in LA, the Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT FEST once again offers an outlet for independent artists across many mediums—and for audiences craving acclaimed cinematic programming. For those who can’t make it to Park City, Utah in the winter, it’s become an offshoot that allows access to the festival’s NEXT section. That said, there’s also a slew of original work making their debuts. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the schedule, it’s worth touching upon the festival’s trailer, itself a product of the Sundance Institute’s Ignite Fellows Program. Ignite provides industry mentorship to filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 24. This year, director Courtney Jines, motion graphics artist Tara Clune and composer Kayla Briët united to capture the essence and atmosphere of NEXT FEST—and it’s a sizzling piece of work itself, and soon-to-be airing before every screening.
At the core of NEXT FEST, six films from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival make their Los Angeles debut. From the much discussed “Goat” to the shocking “The Greasy Strangler,” this is an opportunity to catch these films before most other people. Further, each screening is paired with a live music performance (or discussion), with artists ranging from Shamir to Big Freedia. Announced today, however, NEXT FEST will also premiere three music videos. Blood Orange will showcase the video for “Best to You” (off his new album Freetown Sound) while Neon Indian will reveal “Annie.” Rounding out the videos, “Beautiful People” by Mark Pritchard—featuring Thom Yorke—will get a cinematic treatment. In a similar vein, Flying Lotus, directing under the name steve, will also unveil a short film.
As with Sundance itself, NEXT FEST goes beyond film and video. On site, there will be 12 mobile VR experiences—a staple of Sundance in recent years. An outdoor venue, NEXT DOOR, will feature drinks, games and more—with Google Cardboard viewers being handed out to guests. And, of course, there will be an array of panel discussions. Since its inception, Sundance has proven its value to the film community. NEXT FEST is an extension of this and the roster this year looks pretty fun, to say the least.
You can purchase passes to NEXT FEST online, with individual ticket prices ranging between $15 to $25. It will run from 12-14 August at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles.
Images courtesy of the Sundance Institute