The fifth Sundance NEXT FEST is set for Aug. 10-13, returning once again to the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The weekend event has fast become a summer staple on the L.A. moviegoing calendar presenting an eclectic variety of films, music and live performances.

NEXT FEST picks a handful of titles from the year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and brings them to Los Angeles for their local premiere. The movie is then matched with a curated musical artist, a conversation among filmmakers or a special performance.

“Think of Sundance Next Fest as a warmer version of our festival that we’ve concocted just for Los Angeles,” John Cooper​, director of the Sundance Film Festival, said in a statement. “We’re premiering an incredible and high-energy lineup of independent films, served up with a side of music and talent, in a fantastic and totally unique venue.”

This year, Sundance NEXT FEST will host a conversation, presented by FilmL.A., Inc., with Ava DuVernay (13thSelma) and director Justin Chon after Saturday’s 4:00 p.m. screening of Gook.  Chon is the director, writer and star of the film which is set against the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and won the Next Audience Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.  Also on Saturday, Gente-fied executive producer America Ferrera, director/creator/co-writer Marvin Lemus, co-writer Linda Yvette Chavez and producer Aaliyah Williams will be in conversation following the noon screening of all seven episodes of the series.

Janicza Bravo will also screen her feature directorial debut project Lemon at the festival.  The film made it’s debut at Sundance earlier this year and stars her husband and co-writer of the film Brett Gelman, Nia Long, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Shiri Appleby, Gillian Jacobs, Fred Melamed, Rhea Perlman, Jeff Garlin, Megan Mullally, Martin Starr, and more.

On Sunday, Emmy Award winner Larry Wilmore will join directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles and the subject of Dina for a conversation following the afternoon screening. Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show) will be in conversation with filmmaker Alex Ross Perry following Sunday’s 4:00 p.m. screening of Golden Exits.

This year’s festival will feature for the second year an event space for ticket holders adjacent to the Ace Hotel known as Next Door, featuring food trucks, drinks, games and events.

Individual tickets are currently on sale.  For more information, go to sundance.org/next.

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Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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