Weekend Update: Quentin Tarantino Celebrates The 25th Anniversary Of “Reservoir Dogs” At Sundance NEXT Fest

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The Ace Theater marquee
The Ace Theatre marquee

Photo Credit: The Sundance Institute

Downtown was the hottest place to be in L.A. last week as the Sundance Institute officially kicked off its 2017 Sundance NEXT FEST—a summer festival with music, movies and mischief—at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Quentin Tarantino was on hand to launch this year’s four-day event with a bang: the filmmaker was honored with the Institute’s Vanguard Leadership Award, which celebrates the innovation, originality, and independent spirit that the Feature Film Program has fostered in artists over its 30-plus year history.

Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino

Photo Credit: The Sundance Institute

After Feature Film Program Founding Director Michelle Satter presented Tarantino with the Award, attendees enjoyed a 25th anniversary screening of Reservoir Dogs on restored 35mm supported by Cinespia, and Sundance NEXT FEST After Dark, an outdoor after party. Proceeds from the event benefited the nonprofit Institute’s year-round programs for independent film and theatre artists.

Michael Madsen and Kirk Baltz
Michael Madsen and Walter Groggins

Photo Credit: The Sundance Institute

Attendees included Reservoir Dogs cast members Michael Madsen, Tim Roth and Kirk Baltz; producers Richard N. Gladstein, Monte Hellman and Ronna B. Wallace; Sundance executives Keri Putnam (Executive Director of Sundance Institute), John Cooper (Director of the Sundance Film Festival), and Trevor Groth (Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival), as well as Walter Goggins, Fred Raskin, Robert Forster, Zoë Bell, Peter Bogdanovich, and more.

America Ferrara and Edward James Olmos
America Ferrara and Edward James Olmos

Photo Credit: The Sundance Institute

Moving on, Friday’s line-up featured the LA premiere of absurd comedy Lemon, directed by Janicza Bravo, with a comedy set by Kate Berlant and performance by powerhouse vocalist Lizzo. Saturday was jam-packed with events, starting with the Mariachi Superstars performing before the special screening of seven episodes of the comedic drama Gente-fied, created by Marvin Lemus. Attendees included the cast, actress and executive producer America Ferrera, Edward James Olmos, and more. Following the screening, Lemus and Ferrera were joined by co-writer Linda Yvette Chavez, acclaimed writer Josefina López (Real Women Have Curves), organizer Nancy Meza (Defend Boyle Heights), and moderator Justin Simien (Dear White People) for a powerful conversation about the Boyle Heights community and gentrification. The afternoon featured the world premiere of Joey Bada$$’s newest music video for “Temptation” prior to the screening of Justin Chon’s Gook, winner of the NEXT Audience Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The screening was followed by an in-depth conversation with Chon and director Ava DuVernay on cinematography and representation. Saturday closed out with the LA premiere of Bitch paired with an electrifying performance by Sleigh Bells. Attendees included Bitch director and screenwriter Marianna Palka, Jaime King, Rebekka Johnson, Britney Young and Kate Micucci, who entertained the audience with a comedic musical performance prior to the screening.

Justin Chon and Ava DuVernay
Justin Chon and Ava DuVernay

Photo Credit: The Sundance Institute

Sunday’s events included the Los Angeles premieres of Dina, a documentary about an unconventional love story that took home the Grand Jury Prize in Park City, followed by a conversation with Larry Wilmore, Dina Buno, and directors Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini. Alex Ross Perry’s latest film Golden Exits was the featured afternoon film attended by cast members Lily Rabe, Analeigh Tipton and Emily Browning. After the screening, legendary director Peter Bogdanovich hosted a conversation with Perry. Prior to the afternoon screenings, attendees were treated to the world premiere of M83’s newest music video for “Do It, Try It” and Hundred Waters’ “Fingers.” In the evening, comedian Natasha Legerro hyped up the audience with a quick comedy set before the screening of Michelle Morgan’s witty love letter to the city of angels, L.A. Times. Cast including Adam Shapiro, Andre Hyland, Angela Trimbur and Jorma Taccone were in attendance, as well as actress Katie Lowes and actor Darren Criss. Additionally, Sundance Institute honored Sundance alum Dee Rees, writer and director of Pariah, Bessie and Mudbound, with the Vanguard Award, celebrating an emerging artist with creative independence. The award was presented to her by actress Kim Wayans during the Member and Alumni Party at Sundance NEXT FEST. Director Lee Daniels and Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos were on hand to show their support. The Vanguard Award includes a cash grant and mentorship from industry professionals and Institute staff. Rees will be the sixth recipient of this award; past recipients include Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station).The four-day festival concluded with a live performance by LA-based duo Electric Guest.

On the scene at the Ace Theatre
On the scene at the Ace Theatre

Photo Credit: The Sundance Institute

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