Sundance opts for hybrid in-person online festival that includes documentary about Kanye

American rapper Kanye West attends the 2019 WSJ Magazine Innovator Awards at MOMA on November 6, 2019 in New York City. Image: AFP / Angela Weiss

Next month’s Sundance Film Festival will screen all feature films in person in Utah and online for the first time, including a major new documentary on Kanye West, as organizers embrace a “year of experimentation” for the independent cinema.

Co-founded by Robert Redford and based in the mountainous western US state, Sundance features the hottest independent, arthouse, and documentary films of the coming year, but has was forced to go virtual last January due to COVID-19.

With the Omicron variant looming, director Tabitha Jackson told Agence France-Presse that a hybrid approach including separate in-person and virtual Q&A for each film would “maximize flexibility” while providing “the best of both. worlds – double the energy and creating buzz.

Among the films selected will be “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy,” a documentary assembled from more than two decades of footage shot by West’s longtime friend Clarence “Coodie” Simmons.

“He had the foresight to see what Kanye was going to become and started making this movie from the start,” programming director Kim Yutani said. “So that’s one of the pleasures of this movie, it’s really seeing Kanye become Kanye.”

Other documentaries include the world premieres of “We Need to Talk About Cosby,” which discusses the fall of Bill Cosby, and “The Princess,” on the life and death of British Princess Diana.

“I Love Lucy” star Lucille Ball’s Amy Poehler profile, titled “Lucy and Desi,” will receive a star-studded opening night premiere in Salt Lake City.

Rory Kennedy – the daughter of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Robert F. Kennedy – will tackle the mistakes that led to two 737 Max plane crashes that killed 346 people in “DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing”.

Due to the constraints of COVID, many directors have used “archival films as a basis for their creativity” this year and the pandemic “has invited people to watch near their homes,” Jackson said.

On the narrative side, Nobel Laureate for Literature Kazuo Ishiguro scripted “Living”, a remake of “Ikiru” by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa transplanted to 1950s London and starring Bill Nighy.

The late Michael K. Williams appears alongside John Boyega in “892”, about an American veteran forced to extreme and violent measures after being left bankrupt and on the verge of homelessness.

Emma Thompson “as we’ve never seen her before” plays’ an elderly woman who hires a sex worker “in” Good Luck Leo Grande, “Yutani said.

And “Girls” creator Lena Dunham is directing her first feature in over a decade with “Sharp Stick,” a provocative Hollywood film about a 26-year-old woman who begins an affair with her older employer. .

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 20 to 30. AP / JB

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