This year’s Sundance NEXT FEST will held at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) from 12 to 14 August.

The festival features some of the most talented new film and music artists, who have remained relatively unknown until now. Sundance NEXT FEST will present the Los Angeles premieres of six new independent films seen in the Sundance Film Festival Park City Utah. The festival will also feature comedy short films paired with music, live performance or conversation.

“This year’s Sundance NEXT FEST showcases stories from all over that still hit close to home. Tied to music performances by breakout artists and extended conversations with prolific filmmakers, this weekend celebration is an indie oasis in a summer of big-budget blockbusters.” – John Cooper – Director Sundance Film Festival.

New to the festival is NEXT DOOR, a free outdoor event for attendees to enjoy food and drinks. You could also join a pre-party the night before called NIGHT BEFORE NEXT. This party on 11 August will benefit the Sundance Institute.

Overview of all events:

Friday 12 August, 20:00

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Lovesong / U.S.A. (Director: So Yong Kim, Screenwriters: So Yong Kim, Bradley Rust Gray) — Neglected by her husband, Sarah embarks on an impromptu road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy. Along the way, the dynamic between the two friends intensifies before circumstances force them apart. Years later, Sarah attempts to rebuild their intimate connection in the days before Mindy’s wedding. Cast: Jena Malone, Riley Keough, Brooklyn Decker, Amy Seimetz, Ryan Eggold, Rosanna Arquette. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

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Shamir — 20-year-old Shamir’s androgyne croon recalls Nina Simone and moves in and out of soul, r&b, house, disco, rap and pop – in the tradition of Prince, Grace Jones, David Bowie and Madonna. His albums include “Northtown” and “Ratchet,” an ecstatic dance-pop record that sparkles with the grit of a desert geode.

 

Saturday 13 August, 12:00

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Morris from America / U.S.A., Germany (Director and screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) — Craig Robinson stars as the father of 13-year-old Morris; though they have just relocated to Germany, Morris won’t let anything stop his pursuit of hip-hop stardom and the girl of his dreams in this hilarious and heart-warming coming-of-age comedy. Cast: Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson, Carla Juri, Lina Keller, Jakub Gierszał, Levin Henning. Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic and the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance – Craig Robinson at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Followed by a talent show featuring participants from Los Angeles youth arts organisations. Hosted by Morris from America star Craig Robinson.

 

Saturday 13 August, 16:00

White Girl / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Elizabeth Wood) — Summer, New York City: A college student goes to extremes to get her drug dealer boyfriend out of jail. Cast: Morgan Saylor, Brian ‘Sene’ Marc, Justin Bartha, Chris Noth, India Menuez, Adrian Martinez. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Followed by a conversation with director and screenwriter Elizabeth Wood and a special guest.

 

Saturday 13 August, 20:00

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Goat / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Neel, Screenwriters: David Gordon Green, Andrew Neel, Michael Roberts) — Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19-year-old boy pledges his brother’s fraternity in an attempt to prove his manhood. What happens there, in the name of “brotherhood,” tests both the boys and their relationship in brutal ways. Cast: Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Gardner, Danny Flaherty, Austin Lyon. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Sunflower Bean — Sunflower Bean find magic within friction. The New York trio’s full-length debut album, Human Ceremony, emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelia and urgent, fuzzed-out bliss. That push-and-pull colours the aural tapestry of these three musicians called “NYC’s Coolest Young Band” by Rolling Stone.

 

Sunday 14 August, 12:00

Downtown & Dirty Shorts, Hosted by Nick Kroll — A wide-ranging showcase of some of the funniest short films from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, hosted by one of the funniest guys we know: Nick Kroll. The festival is widely considered the premiere showcase for short films and the launch-pad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers. Screening at Sundance NEXT FEST are:

  • Affections (Director and screenwriter: Bridey Elliott)

  • The Procedure (Director and screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder), winner of the Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction

  • A Reasonable Request (Director: Andrew Laurich, Screenwriters: Gabriel Miller, Andrew Laurich)

  • Thunder Road (Director and screenwriter: Jim Cummings), winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize

  • Too Legit (Director and screenwriter: Frankie Shaw)

 

Sunday 14 August, 14:00

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Short Film Master Class — The Short Film Master Class is a half-day event of panel discussions and Q&As with filmmakers and Sundance Institute Short Film Programmers, providing real world advice on the art of making shorts, focusing on narrative storytelling. The event will conclude with a networking reception. Tickets are $75 and include access to Downtown & Dirty Shorts at noon.

 

Sunday 14 August, 16:00

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Under the Shadow / United Kingdom, Jordan, Qatar (Director and screenwriter: Babak Anvari) — Tehran, 1988: As the Iran-Iraq War rumbles into its eighth year, a mother and daughter are slowly torn apart by the bombing campaigns on the city coupled with the country’s bloody revolution. As they struggle to stay together amidst these terrors, a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment. Cast: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Ray Haratian, Arash Marandi. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Followed by a conversation between director and screenwriter Babak Anvari and a special guest.

 

Sunday 14 August, 20:00

Royal (Director: Flying Lotus aka steve) — Unearthed from Los Angeles’s worst quake nightmare. The story of Royal begins where the curses of human survival have left off. Inside the dark rooms and dim minds of Missy and Kenneth. Some of the strangest secrets find their way out from behind the curtain, revealing wounds that may never heal. WORLD PREMIERE

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The Greasy Strangler / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Hosking, Screenwriters: Jim Hosking, Toby Harvard) — When Big Ronnie and his son Brayden meet lone female tourist Janet on Big Ronnie’s Disco Walking Tour—the best and only disco walking tour in the city—a fight for Janet’s heart erupts between father and son, and the infamous Greasy Strangler is unleashed. Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex, Jesse Keen, Joe David Walters. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

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Surprise music artist to be announced. Get ready to let your freak flag fly.

Tickets are available now at the Sundance NEXT FEST website.