Sundance 2019 Opening Weekend Highlights

28 Jan, 2019

Cindy Maram, Dig In Magazine Founder/Editor-in-Cheif here at the annual 2019 Sundance Film Festival (January 24-February 3, 2019) in Park City, Utah. We just wrapped a fun, movie and red carpet-filled opening weekend and what a ride it has been!

Ms. Purple - 2019 Sundance Film Festival

MS. PURPLE Premiere | 2019 Sundance Film Festival

From Asian-American films like writer/director Justin Chon’s MS. PURPLE, about a young, beautiful Korean-American girl (talented newcomer Tiffany Chu) that works nights at a Karaoke bar being objectified by wealthy Korean businessmen, but possesses a strong love and dedication to caring for her sick, bedridden father, to THE FAREWELL starring CRAZY RICH ASIANS’ Awkwafina and directed by Lulu Wang.

THE FAREWELL - 2019 Sundance Film Festival

THE FAREWELL Premiere – 2019 Sundance Film Festival

The movie is a comedy about a loving Chinese family that traditionally wants to keep the truth from their grandmother that she is dying and fakes an impromptu wedding in China to spend quality time with her during her last days. The film was surprisingly ninety-five percent in Mandarin Chinese with subtitles.

PARADISE HILLS Premiere - 2019 Sundance Film Festival

PARADISE HILLS Premiere – 2019 Sundance Film Festival

We also caught PARADISE HILLS starring Emma Roberts, Awkwafina and Milla Jovovich directed by first-time director Alice Waddington. The film, full of imagination, is part science fiction and brings the viewer into a sort of utopian world, that is more like a strict rehab center, where young women are sent by their cruel parents to improve themselves and make them objects of perfection to men and society. We had the special opportunity to cover and interview the stars on the red carpet at the premieres of the films mentioned above–stay tuned for our video interviews, photos and reviews!

Not only does the festival offer great movies, but it also features the newest breakthrough virtual reality projects at Sundance’s New Frontier section, like the World Premiere of MARSHALL FROM DETROIT (Lead Artist: Caleb Slain), a VR project about Marshall Mathers (“Eminem”), who growing up, dreamed of rapping his way out of Detroit. Many years and fortunes later, he hasn’t left his hometown. In this VR project, the viewer can join him and Sway Calloway on a night ride through his hometown of Detroit, where the mirrored struggles of Eminem and the MotorCity speak to the heart of what we call home.
[Top featured photo is at still from MARSHALL FROM DETROIT]

This piece can be viewed at:
Sundance, New Frontier @ The Box at The Ray, VR Cinema Program 2, 1768 Park Ave., Park City

TRAVELING WHILE BLACK Wolrd Premiere - 2019 Sundance Film Festival

TRAVELING WHILE BLACK Wolrd Premiere – 2019 Sundance Film Festival
Still Courtesy of Felix and Paul Studios

Another World Premiere VR project featured at Sundance’s New Frontier is TRAVELING WHILE BLACK (Lead Artist: Roger Ross Williams), directed by Academy Award® Winner Roger Ross Williams in collaboration with Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël and co-directed by Ayesha Nadarajah. A 20-minute 3D, 360-degree virtual reality documentary immerses its audience in the long history of restricted movement for black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities.

This piece can be viewed at:
Sundance, New Frontier @ The Ray, Installation, 1768 Park Ave., Park City, UT

It's Not About Jimmy Keene - 2019 Sundance Film Festival | Photo Courtesy of Sundance Institute | Photo by Diana Kunce

IT’S NOT ABOUT JIMMY KEENE – 2019 Sundance Film Festival
Photo Courtesy of Sundance Institute | Photo by Diana Kunce

And don’t miss IT’S NOT ABOUT JIMMY KEENE featured in the Sundance Film Festival Indie Episodic Program 2, premiering Tuesday, January 29th at 5:30PM at Prospector Square Theatre (2175 Sidewinder Drive, Park City, UT)

HOW DOES IT START | Sundance Film Festival 2019

HOW DOES IT START | Sundance Film Festival 2019 | U.S. Narrative Short Films

It’s 1983 and 12-year-old Rain desires sex, however she has no idea what that means. Her parents, self-absorbed, are distracted by their recent divorce, so Rain is left alone to navigate the complexities of love and adulthood, and learns to do it her own way.

Through this film, writer and director Amber Sealey aims to shed light on a universally common aspect of women’s lives that has been avoided by many filmmakers: the pre-teen curiosity about sex and all the accompanying physical feelings that come with it. HOW DOES IT START (U.S. Narrative Short Films) is about creating a more comprehensive canon of films on female sexuality and identity.

You can still catch HOW DOES IT START on Thursday, January 31st, 6:00 PM at Park Avenue Theatre, Park City, UT.

Hope you will get a chance to check out these 2019 Sundance Film Festival highlights!

About the author

Cindy Maram

Cindy Maram is Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Dig In Magazine. She is an accredited film journalist for Cannes Film Festival in the South of France, Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and CAAMFest, as well as fashion & style photographer/blogger for London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, professional sports photographer/writer and art critic. She is a writer, vlogger & social media community manager possessing a B.A from UC Davis and a M.A. in Mass Communications + Popular Culture Studies emphasis in Film/Marketing/Writing from Cal State Fullerton.

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