Announcing the Sundance Next Fest program, plus awards for Quentin Tarantino and Dee Rees

The 5th Sundance Next Fest brings a signature mix of movies, music and old-fashioned showmanship to Los Angeles. Taking place at the Theatre at Ace Hotel downtown for the fourth year, the festival opens Aug. 10 with an event called Next Fest After Dark.

A 25th-anniversary screening of Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” will also include the presentation of the Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Leadership Award to Tarantino. The director is the fifth recipient of the award, after previous recipients philanthropist George Gund, critic Roger Ebert, actress Glenn Close and filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

“‘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,” said Trevor Groth, the Sundance Film Festival’s director of programming, in a statement. “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 festival’s main program will include seven feature projects that premiered in January at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. On Aug. 11, Next Fest will present the absurdist comedy “Lemon,” directed by Janicza Bravo, who co-wrote the film with its star, Brett Gelman. The movie will be followed by a performance by singer and rapper Lizzo.

Aug. 12 will include a screening of seven episodes of the series “Gente-fied,” executive produced by America Ferrera. Also screening will be “Gook,” starring, written and directed by Justin Chon and winner of the Next audience award at the 2017 Sundance Festival. The day’s program will conclude with a screening of “Bitch,” starring, written and directed by Marianna Palka, followed by a musical performance by the group Sleigh Bells.

Aug. 13 will begin with a screening of the documentary “Dina,” directed by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini and winner of the 2017 U.S. documentary grand jury prize. Alex Ross Perry’s Brooklyn-set “Golden Exits,” starring Emily Browning and Adam Horowitz, will screen along with Michelle Morgan’s Los Angeles-set “L.A. Times,” starring Morgan, Dree Hemingway and Kentucker Audley. The weekend’s events will conclude with a performance by the L.A.-based duo Electric Guest.

Additional program elements for daytime screenings, including Q&As with curated guests, will eventually be announced.

In a statement, John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, called Next Fest “the perfect blend to give Angelenos a taste of our Park City Festival.” Cooper’s statement also said, “A majority of these movies, filmmakers and musicians are from Los Angeles, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate hometown talent.”

Dee Rees, who was at Sundance in January with her film “Mudbound,” will receive the Vanguard Award as part of Next Fest. The prize includes a cash grant.

Past recipients of the Vanguard Award include “Whiplash” filmmaker Damien Chazelle, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” filmmaker Benh Zeitlin and “Fruitvale Station” filmmaker Ryan Coogler.

Next Door, an outdoor space adjacent to the Theatre at Ace Hotel with food, drinks and games, will also return to the festival.

Ticket packages are on sale now at


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