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Sundance Next Fest to Honor Quentin Tarantino, Dee Rees

Variety logo Variety 6/7/2017 Dave McNary
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Sundance Next Fest will honor Quentin Tarantino and Dee Rees with Vanguard Awards, and will include seven films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and three music performances.

The festival, now in its fifth year in Los Angeles, will take place Aug. 10-13 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. The Los Angeles festival is an extension of the Sundance Next section in Park City, Utah, which has included “Obvious Child,” “Compliance,” “Appropriate Behavior,” “Tangerine,” and “Escape From Tomorrow.”

John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “This year’s weekend festival offers everything from a Sundance throwback to our first-ever Next Fest episodic screening; the perfect blend to give Angelenos a taste of our Park City Festival. A majority of these movies, filmmakers and musicians are from Los Angeles, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate hometown talent.”

Tarantino will be presented the Vanguard Leadership Award on opening night along with a 25th anniversary screening of “Reservoir Dogs” on a restored 35mm print. “Reservoir Dogs” debuted at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival following Tarantino’s participation in the Institute’s Directors Lab and received a From the Collection screening at this year’s festival in Park City.

Trevor Groth, director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “‘Reservoir Dogs’ debuted as the Festival’s most talked-about film in 1992 and 25 years later, it’s still a fresh, high-caliber thrillride, and more iconic than ever. I can’t think of a better way to kick off Sundance Next Fest than to showcase our history and what we’re all about.”

The Aug. 11 schedule includes the Los Angeles premiere of absurd comedy “Lemon,” directed by Janicza Bravo, with a performance by vocalist Lizzo. The following day includes a screening of seven episodes of the comedic drama “Gente-fied,” executive produced by America Ferrera; a screening of “Gook,” which won the 2017 Sundance Audience Award; a showing of “Bitch,” starring Jason Ritter and Jaime King; and a performance by Sleigh Bells.

The final day will include the Los Angeles premieres of “Dina,” a documentary about an unconventional love story that took home the Grand Jury Prize in Park City; Alex Ross Perry’s latest film “Golden Exits”; Michelle Morgan’s “LA Times”; and a live performance by Electric Guest, the band behind “Dear to Me.”

Rees, writer and director of “Bessie,” will also receive the Vanguard Award at Next Fest. She’s premiered “Pariah” at Sundance in 2011 and “Mudbound” in 2017.

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