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Sundance Film Festival brings movies, panels to Chicago

By Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Published: June 8, 2024, 5:24am

CHICAGO — We’ll have more on the ins and outs of this pop-up demi-festival soon, but for now here’s a primer on Sundance Institute x Chicago, coming June 28-30.

Four films from the January 2024 edition of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, will be screened at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts in Hyde Park and at the Davis Theater in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. Two are documentaries: “Luther: Never Too Much,” director Dawn Porter’s documentary on the late R&B powerhouse Luther Vandross; and “Sugarcane,” directed by Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie, an account of cyclical abuse perpetuated in the Canadian Indian residential school system.

The other two are feature films: Aaron Schimberg’s dark comedy “A Different Man,” addressing themes of ableism, disability, identity and body horror; and director Caroline Lindy’s “Your Monster,” described by Sundance programmer Ana Souza as “a welcome re-steering of the rom-com into darker realms” starring Melissa Barrera.

The Sundance x Chicago weekend’s five panel discussions range from the screenwriter and filmmaker-centric “Playing for Keeps: How development labs could be the investment that leads to local artistic sustainability,” i.e., how the Sundance Institute’s projects might be adapted to other cities such as Chicago, to “Stronger Together: How festivals, art houses, and independent exhibitors are working together to revive and reinvent the theatrical experience in the post-pandemic era.”

Sundance Film Festival director and Indiewire co-founder and former editor Eugene Hernandez and Facets executive director Karen Cardarelli lead the “Stronger Together” panel.

Tickets for the films go for $20; the panels are free but require reservations and seating is limited. The late June project also features community events and master classes, with details to come. Much of the activity will take place in the downtown Chicago Cultural Center.

Sundance Institute x Chicago runs June 28-30 at Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St.; Davis Theater, 614 N. Lincoln Ave.; Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. For more information go to SundanceInstitutexChicago.com.

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