Sundance 2021 is in full swing! The annual film festival will be offering a virtual platform this year so movie lovers can enjoy seven days of premieres, events, artist talks and cutting-edge XR exhibitions. While also partnering with independent cinemas across the country to safety host in-person events. Bringing the best in indie storytelling to audiences across the country.
This year, HBO Max will host Our Stories to Tell, a multi-day, virtual experience with various invite-only and public events that empower and celebrate the streamer’s commitment to African American, Asian American, LGBTQ+ and LatinX audiences.
“Since its inception in 2019, these Our Stories to Tell discussions have provided a space for connection and inspiration and have highlighted the impact of creativity when championing diversity within our culture and community, both on and off screen in all aspects of our programming,” said Jackie Gagne, Senior Vice President, Multicultural Marketing at WarnerMedia. “Continuing this tradition at the first-ever virtual Sundance Film Festival allows us to engage with community members unable to attend Sundance in years past, democratizing the eye-opening opportunities the festival presents.”
HBO Max’s audience-first initiative engages multicultural viewers through relatable storytelling and cultural programming at key moments and notable industry events throughout the year including a pop-up LA experience that kicked off the campaign in 2019.
At the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Our Series To Tell had an immersive event space on Main Street that gave attendees access to exclusive dinners with cast, masterclasses and panel discussions featuring talent from various WarnerMedia programming. Our Stories To Tell is a hub for visionaries within a dynamic industry, centered in diversity, rich in collaboration, celebration and elevation of ideas.
This year, it will be go virtual and feature established and emerging HBO® and HBO Max talent such as Holly Walker (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”), Jamie Chung (“Lovecraft Country”), the Queens of “We’re Here,” Leticia Dolera (“Perfect Life”), and more at interactive events for guests to enjoy meaningful conversations from the talent and execs who bring HBO Max’s award-winning programming to life.
Today and tomorrow from 3-5 p.m. EST, HBO Max will also host “The Craft Office Hours” in partnership with The Creative Collective of NY, consisting of mini breakout sessions for aspiring creatives to RSVP to intimate mentorship sessions with behind-the-scenes talent. These sessions will focus on each talent’s area of expertise and spots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
See below for events scheduled to take place.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2021
2-3 PM EST / Living Out Loud, Here and Everywhere
The stars of the HBO series “We’re Here” Eureka, Shangela and Bob the Drag Queen get real about their respective journeys, from coming into their own to building confidence.
3 – 5 PM EST / THE CRAFT OFFICE HOURS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CCNYC
Intimate mentorship sessions with Chilean novelist and icon Isabel Allende, producer Tiffany Chung, HBO documentary executive Sara Rodriguez, screenwriter Kristin Tucker (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”), TV/film writer and performer Shenovia Large, writer Kindsey Young, Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker Rudy Valdez (“The Sentence”) and director Leticia Dolera (“Perfect Life”).
5 – 6 PM EST / Illuminating Black Art
A discussion highlighting the upcoming HBO Documentary “Black Art: The Absence of Light” featuring executive producer Henry Louis Gates Jr. and director Sam Pollard, spotlighting contributions and the impact Black artists have made in the art world. Conversation will be moderated by Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Thelma Golden.
6 – 7 PM EST / Breaking Down Judas and the Black Messiah
Diving into the new Warner Bros. film, “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., actress Dominique Fishback and costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones will participate in a conversation on the making of this incredible movie. Conversation will be led by multimedia creative and journalist, Brandon Jinx.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 2021
2 – 3:30 PM EST / HBO POV Presents: Masters in Craft featuring “A Black Lady Sketch Show”
A panel conversation with some of the sketch comedy masterminds behind “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” Following the discussion, attendees will be able to have more intimate conversations with talent in smaller breakout groups including, Shenovia Large (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”), Kristin Tucker (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”), Holly Walker (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”) Kindsey Young (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”).
3 – 5 PM EST / THE CRAFT OFFICE HOURS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CCNYC
Intimate mentorship sessions with award-winning Mexican American writer-director and 2020 HBO Directing Fellow Emil Gallardo (“1,2,3 All Eyes On Me”), director Angel Manuel Soto (“Charm City Kings”), costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), writer Holly Walker (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”), and director Diana Peralta (“De Lo Mio”).
4 – 5 PM EST / Animation, But Make it Black.
A conversation with leading industry creatives on the importance of representation and inclusion in animation, moderated by Blerdcon creator Hilton George and including Loulou João (Adult Swim) Alda Boyd (Adult Swim) and Founder & CEO of Black Women Animate Taylor Shaw.
5 – 6 PM EST / HBO APA Visionaries – Taking the Lead
A conversation with leading HBO Max/WarnerMedia Asian American talent both in front of the camera and behind the scenes exploring the process, challenges, and journey of “Taking the Lead” in their professional and personal lives and the impact and pride of owning their narratives. Moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Sun featuring Leonardo Nam (“Westworld”), Alexander Hodge (“Insecure”) and Jamie Chung (“Lovecraft Country”).
6 – 7 PM EST / Masterclass: Pushing The Boundaries of Writing To Go Pa’lante!
A masterclass hosted by Leticia Dolera, creator, writer and star of the new HBO Max series “Perfect Life.” Leticia will talk attendees through her process from conception to reality of making an international series that is so specific yet universally relatable.
7 – 7:45 PM EST / Fireside Charla with Isabel Allende
A fireside conversation led by Emmy®-nominated television personality and journalist Liz Hernandez, diving into Isabel Allende’s career and her upcoming HBO Max three-part series, “Isabel.”
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2021
1 PM EST / Mentally, We’re Here
HBO Max Our Stories to Tell at Sundance will conclude with a mindful meditation and guided yoga lesson to encourage attendees to set intentions for the remainder of the year. participants have the ability to choose one of three sessions to attend.
Session 1: A guided meditation and yoga with Lauren Ash, founder of Black Girl in Om.
Session 2: Breathwork and movement with well-being curator and founder of GirlSpace, Jacqui Whang.
Session 3: Breathwork and chanting led by Afro-Dominican wellness instructors from Brujas of Brooklyn.
**Schedule and talent is subject to change**