The Week-ish: Sundance Edition

The 2017 Sundance Film Festival kicked off the year with films and conversations on topics of race, gender, sex, religion, politics, science and more -- basically all the things you’re not supposed to bring up at the dinner table.

Conversations around these topics can be understandably divisive, but do they have to be? Is there a way for artists and audiences to explore these topics empathetically in way that will encourage dialogue and understanding and not more division?

Bethany Wearden Clarke, Manager of the Sundance Ignite Program (and a Level Ground Member), curates this Week-ish to give us a look at a few of those projects and the conversations they hope to start.

Have questions for Bethany while you read? Tweet her @bwethany.


Dialogue, Not Division

“In these divisive times, can art really make people more tolerant and empathetic? Creative Tensions is a collective conversation expressed in movement, wherein participants reveal where they stand on an issue by virtue of where they stand in the room. Presented by Sundance Institute's Theatre Program, in partnership with IDEO.”
 

Read This

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

There is no question that a woman’s place and role in society, government, and even her own home has been much discussed in the last year. Maybe not since the 1960s has there been such a strong public interest in women’s behavior and perceived misbehavior. READ THIS journalist's review of three 2017 Sundance Film Festival films that deal with this very topic from three very different perspectives:

 
These three [films] also raise an interesting question: how will audiences react when the women protagonists on screen refuse to behave as they’re supposed to? Each film plays with our expectations. And if we feel a little uncomfortable, they’re working.
— Alissa Wilkinson
Margaret Qualley appears in Novitiate by Maggie Betts, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. | READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE. 

Margaret Qualley appears in Novitiate by Maggie Betts, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. | READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE. 

Watch This

While you may not have made it to Park City this year to see any films, you can already watch this 2017 Sundance Film Festival short film Dear Mr. Shakespeare online.

“An exploration of Shakespeare's intentions when writing Othello delves into the play's racial themes in historical and contemporary settings, while drawing wider parallels between immigration and blackness in the UK today.”
 

Other Conversations the Internet is Having

Virtual Reality (VR) has been controversially referred to as an “empathy machine.” READ VR artist Eric Darnell describe how empathy makes this animated VR video game more interactive and engaging because you are invited to connect directly with the characters and voluntarily decide if you will help someone in need or not:

 

ICYMI

For the last eleven years, the Sundance Film Festival has championed innovative and emerging storytelling platforms through the New Frontier section of the Festival. READ about some of the best emerging media projects presented at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. 

Out of Exile, dramatizes a young gay man coming out to his homophobic family. | read the full story here.

Out of Exile, dramatizes a young gay man coming out to his homophobic family. | read the full story here.

Overheard Online

Encouraging words from Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper to young creatives:

 

Who to follow

To keep up on what Sundance Institute supported artists, projects, and programs are doing and talking about throughout the year, follow @sundanceorg.

 

Thanks for reading and see you next Week-ish!

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