2021 Sundance Film Festival Selections to Debut in Atlanta

The Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS) and The Plaza Theatre, in partnership with the nonprofit Sundance Institute, are pleased to share 11 films that will be presented in Atlanta as part of the Satellite Screens initiative for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, January 28 – February 3, 2021. All 11 films will be making their world premieres at Sundance. 

The films coming to Atlanta will be presented at The Plaza Theatre (1049 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30306) screening both Indoors and at the Drive-In and at Dad’s Garage Drive-In (569 Ezzard St SE, Atlanta, GA, 30312). The selections playing in Atlanta, along with their screening locations and showtimes, are listed below. Tickets are now available for ATLFS members but go on sale to the public on January 7, 2021 at 4:00 PM and can be purchased at AtlantaFilmSociety.org

“The Atlanta Film Society and Plaza Theatre are humbled and honored to have been selected as the 2021 Sundance Film Festival’s Atlanta partner for their first-ever Satellite Screens initiative,” said Christopher Escobar, Executive Director of ATLFS. “We are looking forward to safely sharing a slate of 2021 Sundance Film Festival selections in collaboration with a host committee of esteemed Atlanta organizations whose missions also serve the arts and film communities.” 

The Institute announced last month the new independent work selected for the 2021 Festival. The Festival will take place digitally via a feature-rich, Sundance-built online platform and in-person screenings across the country on Satellite Screens including in Atlanta (public health permitting). Online, Festival attendees can gather in virtual waiting rooms, participate in live Q&A’s, and congregate in new environments to interact in a range of ways, both new and familiar. The Institute shared details of how the Festival will meet audiences on the online platform and Satellite Screens in December. 

You can learn more about the films selected for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and see the online schedule on the Festival’s film program guide at festival.sundance.org. The Atlanta Film Society and The Plaza Theatre will be revealing additional local programming including talks and events in mid-January. For more information, please visit  Festival.Sundance.org  and AtlantaFilmSociety.org.

Featured Films

CODA/ U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Siân Heder, Producers: Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger) — As a CODA – Child of Deaf Adults – Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents. Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin. World Premiere. U.S. Dramatic Competition DAY ONE
Plaza Indoors: Thursday, January 28, 2021, 7:15 PM
Plaza Drive-In: Thursday, January 28, 2021, 7:45 PM   

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It / U.S.A. (Director: Mariem Pérez Riera, Producers: Brent Miller, Mariem Pérez Riera, Ilia J. Vélez-Dávila) — Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become one of a select group who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. Over a seventy year career, she has paved the way for Hispanic-American performers by refusing to be pigeonholed into one-dimensional stereotypes. World Premiere. U.S. Documentary Competition
Plaza Indoors: Friday, January 29, 2021, 7:00 PM
Plaza Drive-In: Friday, January 29, 2021, 7:30 PM

Cryptozoo / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Dash Shaw, Producers: Kyle Martin, Jane Samborski, Bill Way, Tyler Davidson) — As cryptozookeepers struggle to capture a Baku (a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature) they begin to wonder if they should display these rare beasts in the confines of a cryptozoo, or if these mythical creatures should remain hidden and unknown. Cast: Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Angeliki Papoulia, Zoe Kazan, Peter Stormare, Grace Zabriskie. World Premiere. Next
Plaza Indoors: Friday, January 29, 2021, 9:30 PM
Plaza Drive-In: Friday, January 29, 2021, 9:45 PM

Passing / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Rebecca Hall, Producers: Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Margot Hand, Rebecca Hall) — Two African-American women who can “pass” as white choose to live on opposite sides of the color line in 1929 New York in an exploration of racial and gender identity, performance, obsession and repression. Based on the novella by Nella Larsen. Cast: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland, Alexander Skarsgård, Bill Camp. World Premiere. U.S. Dramatic Competition
Plaza Indoors: Saturday, January 30, 2021, 6:30 PM
Plaza Drive-In: Saturday, January 30, 2021, 7:00 PM

Superior / U.S.A. (Director: Erin Vassilopoulos, Screenwriters: Erin Vassilopoulos, Alessandra Mesa, Producers: Benjamin Cohen, Grant Curatola, Patrick Donovan) — On the run, Marian returns to her hometown in upstate New York to hide out with her estranged identical twin sister, Vivian. Struggling to put the past behind her, Marian lies about the reason for her return, leaving her sister in the dark until their two worlds begin to collide. Cast: Alessandra Mesa, Ani Mesa, Pico Alexander, Jake Hoffman, Stanley Simons. World Premiere. U.S. Dramatic Competition
Plaza Indoors: Saturday, January 30, 2021, 9:15 PM
Plaza Drive-In: Saturday, January 30, 2021, 9:45 PM

My Name is Pauli Murray / U.S.A. (Directors: Betsy West, Julie Cohen, Producer: Talleah Bridges McMahon) — Overlooked by history, Pauli Murray was a legal trailblazer whose ideas influenced RBG’s fight for gender equality and Thurgood Marshall’s landmark civil rights arguments. Featuring never-before-seen footage and audio recordings, a portrait of Murray’s impact as a non-binary Black luminary: lawyer, activist, poet, and priest who transformed our world. World Premiere, Documentary
Dad’s Garage Drive-In: Sunday, January 31, 2021, 6:30 PM
Plaza Indoors: Sunday, January 31, 2021, 6:30 PM

All Light, Everywhere / U.S.A. (Director: Theo Anthony, Producers: Riel Roch-Decter, Sebastian Pardo, Jonna McKone) — An exploration of the shared histories of cameras, weapons, policing and justice. As surveillance technologies become a fixture in everyday life, the film interrogates the complexity of an objective point of view, probing the biases inherent in both human perception and the lens. World Premiere. U.S. Documentary Competition
Plaza Drive-In: Sunday, January 31, 2021, 7:00 PM

The Blazing World / U.S.A. (Director: Carlson Young, Screenwriters: Carlson Young, Pierce Brown, Producers: Brinton Bryan, Elizabeth Avellán) — Decades after the accidental drowning of her twin sister, a self-destructive young woman returns to her family home, finding herself drawn to an alternate dimension where her sister may still be alive. Cast: Udo Kier, Carlson Young, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, John Karna, Soko. World Premiere. Next
Plaza Indoors: Sunday, January 31, 2021, 9:00 PM
Plaza Drive-In: Sunday, January 31, 2021, 9:45 PM

Ailey / U.S.A. (Director: Jamila Wignot, Producer: Lauren DeFilippo) — Alvin Ailey was a visionary artist who found salvation through dance. Told in his own words and through the creation of a dance inspired by his life, this immersive portrait follows a man who, when confronted by a world that refused to embrace him, determined to build one that would. World Premiere. U.S. Documentary Competition
Plaza Indoors: Monday, February 1, 2021, 7:00 PM
Plaza Drive-In: Monday, February 1, 2021, 7:30 PM

Coming Home in the Dark / New Zealand (Director: James Ashcroft, Screenwriters: Eli Kent, James Ashcroft, Producers: Mike Minogue, Catherine Fitzgerald, Desray Armstrong) — A family’s outing descends into terror when teacher Alan Hoaganraad, his wife Jill and stepsons Maika and Jordon explore an isolated coastline. An unexpected meeting with a pair of drifters, the enigmatic psychopath Mandrake and his accomplice Tubs, thrusts the family into a nightmare when they find themselves captured. Cast: Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, Miriama McDowell, Matthias Luafutu. World Premiere. Midnight
Plaza Drive-In: Monday, February 1, 2021, 10:15 PM

Try Harder! / U.S.A. (Director: Debbie Lum, Producers: Debbie Lum, Lou Nakasako, Nico Opper) — In a universe where cool kids are nerds, the orchestra is world class and being Asian American is the norm, seniors at Lowell High School compete for the top prize: admission to the college of their dreams. World Premiere. U.S. Documentary CompetitionPlaza Indoors: Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 7:00 PMPlaza Drive-In: Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 7:30 PM

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