SPOTLIGHT July, 2021: Heidi Ewing on Nonfiction, Partnership and I CARRY YOU WITH ME

Kudos to Heidi Ewing who has built her laudable career and cinema catalogue by helping fascinating people to tell their stories with authenticity and grace. Whether she’s focusing on a strict religious community, the physical and financial impact of manufacturing shutdowns on an industrial city, or two men risking everything to seek the freedom to love each other, Ewing’s empathetic lens captures the humanity of her subjects, while she is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop her own unique talents and skills.

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SUMMER OF SOUL (OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED (Sundance2021) – Review by Leslie Combemale

It seems like the opening documentary at Sundance is always meant to bring joy and inspiration. Last year it was Crip Camp, and this year it’s Harlem Cultural Festival’s directorial debut, Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could not Be Televised). The film is made up of a lot of concert footage that’s been sitting somewhere for over 50 years, and that alone makes its release a celebration.

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LAND (Sundance2021) – Review by Rachel West

Robin Wright sets out into the wilderness in her directorial debut feature, Land.in which she also stars as stars as a woman grappling with the aftermath of a tragedy. Though her grief is not explicitly explained at the outset, one gathers she’s been deeply traumatized by the unexpected death of her husband and young son. Packing up mementos of her life into a cardboard box, Edee loads a U-Haul with supplies and heads into the mountains in search of a solitude in a remote cabin.

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LAND (Sundance2021) – Review by Pamela Powell

Mother Nature can be harsh, but she can also be healing. We see both sides of her in Robin Wright’s feature directorial debut “Land.” Wright also stars in the film as Edee, a woman running away to the remote wilderness as a means to escape her memories of a tragedy. Her success in escaping is more difficult than she imagined as she leaves everything and everyone far behind.

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SPOTLIGHT January 2021: Keri Putnam, Sundance Executive Director and Activist

With consistent commitment, creativity and compassion, Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam opens opportunities for diverse voices in moviemaking. She has built industry-wide alliances that advocate and enact change. Numbers don’t lie. The Sundance fest 2021 program boasts 50% female filmmakers. Sundance grants fund films that Hollywood would deny. When, at some point in the future, we all see ourselves represented onscreen and in the credits, we can thank Keri Putnam Putnam for moving the needle forward to make it happen.

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AMULET – Review by Marina Antunes

Amulet is very distinctly, and effectively, a movie that turns the concept of “male saviour rescuing the maiden in distress” on its ear. The final act is a victorious, completely unexpected turn, that feels completely out of left field until one considers the subtlety and stealth of the script.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Tabitha Jackson is new Sundance Film Festival Director — Brancy McDonnell reports

The Sundance Film Festival has named Tabitha Jackson its new festival director. Jackson, who was previously the Sundance Institute’s documentary program director, was announced as the prestigious American film festival’s new leader during its awards ceremony. She is the first woman, the first person of color and the first Brit to lead the annual independent film festival.

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CUTIES – Review by Lynnette Nicholas

Writer-director Maimouna Doucoure’s Cuties candidly and successfully depicts the intersection of budding adolescence, religion, binding generational beliefs, and the courage that it takes to break free from oppressive ideologies that no longer serve the mental and emotional health of women and young girls.

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