Sundance Institute and Picturehouse announced today three additions to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival: London programme. Alongside the twelve feature films, two short film strands and special events previously announced, the festival will also feature a special presentation of Paul Schrader’s First Reformed; “Films that Made Me”, a selection of films that inspired the work of festival filmmakers Jennifer Fox, Debra Granik and Desiree Akhavan; and “Make ‘Em Laugh”, a comedy masterclass with comedian and filmmaker, Bo Burnham.
Continuing its tradition of championing brave, independent filmmaking, Sundance Film Festival: London is delighted to host the UK premiere of Paul Schrader‘s First Reformed. Directed and written by the legendary filmmaker (screenwriter for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull; director of Cat People, American Gigolo), First Reformed stars Ethan Hawke as a Reform church pastor forced to confront his tormented past in this gripping thriller about a crisis of faith. While the film did not screen at Sundance Utah in January, this addition to this year’s festival showcases the work of Schrader and Hawke, and offers UK audiences an early chance to see the film with an extended introduction by Ethan Hawke.
In an exclusive strand “Films That Made Me”, three of the directors whose work is showcased in this year’s edition – Jennifer Fox (The Tale), Debra Granik (Leave No Trace) and Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post) – will each introduce a film that has personally inspired them, both as filmmakers and in their approach to their films screening in the festival. Jennifer Fox has selected Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation (2003); Debra Granik has chosen Celine Sciamma’s Girlhood (2014); and Desiree Akhavan has picked Lynne Ramsay’s Morvern Callar (2002). Fox, Granik and Akhavan will give further insight into their influences and careers in this year’s In Conversation event, the previously announced “Triple Threat – Three major filmmakers in conversation”.
To accompany the international premiere of his filmmaking debut, Eighth Grade, comedian, actor and YouTube superstar Bo Burnham will share valuable insight into his process in “Make ‘Em Laugh: A Comedy Movie Masterclass”. After launching his comedy career on YouTube, Bo has starred in three successful live comedy specials and had a supporting role in 2017’s The Big Sick, which had its international premiere at last year’s Sundance Film Festival: London. This special event will see Bo discuss the power of comedy and the art of making a room laugh, with other guests and the host to be announced at a later date.