Sundance Film Festival Topics

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Democracy Now! is broadcasting live from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival January 26-30, in Park City, Utah, where key topics this year are police brutality, national security, the environmental movement, and healthcare. Check here for our interviews with the filmmakers and their subjects this year, and browse our past coverage of the largest U.S. festival for independent cinema, starting in 2010.

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  • Dark_lens2
    A new film explores how African-American communities have used the medium of photography to shape how they are represented. "Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People" is directed and produced by Thomas Allen Harris, who shares his own family’s history in the film. Allen Harris is also the creator of the related project, the Digital Diaspora Family Roadshow. Both were inspired in part by the book,...
    January 23, 2014 | Story
  • Henry-headphonesfix
    Could a pair of headphones change the lives of millions of Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia? "Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory," a new documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, follows a social worker named Dan Cohen who has launched a campaign to bring iPods and music therapy to nursing homes. One of the central characters he works with is a 90-something Alzheimer’s patient named Henry Dryer,...
    January 22, 2014 | Story
  • Violence2
    Just days after a Utah police officer shot dead his wife, two kids and his mother-in-law before killing himself, a new HBO documentary premiering at the Sundance Film Festival examines the shocking nationwide epidemic of intimate partner violence, focusing on the struggles of survivors of abuse and the advocates who support them. Set in North Carolina, "Private Violence" follows Kit Gruelle, herself a domestic violence survivor, as...
    January 22, 2014 | Story
  • Aaron_swartz_2
    One year ago this month, the young Internet freedom activist and groundbreaking programmer Aaron Swartz took his own life. Swartz died shortly before he was set to go to trial for downloading millions of academic articles from servers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology based on the belief that the articles should be freely available online. At the time he committed suicide, Swartz was facing 35 years in prison, a penalty supporters...
    January 21, 2014 | Story
  • Ryan_coogler-fuitvale
    "Fruitvale" tells the story of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was shot dead by a transit police officer in Oakland on New Year’s Day in 2009. On Saturday, the film won both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. First-time, 26-year-old director Ryan Coogler accepted the prizes at the Sundance awards ceremony. [includes...
    January 28, 2013 | Story
  • Rick_rowley-dirty_wars
    The documentary "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield" follows investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill to Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen as he chases down the hidden truth behind America’s expanding covert wars, focusing on the Obama administration’s increasing use of armed drones and secretive units including the Joint Special Operations Command. On Saturday, the film’s director, Richard Rowley, was awarded the...
    January 28, 2013 | Story
  • Mariel_hemmingway
    The new documentary "Running from Crazy" chronicles the life of actress Mariel Hemingway, the granddaughter of the great novelist Ernest Hemingway. The film focuses on Mariel’s family history of mental illness and the suicides of seven relatives, including her grandfather and her sister, Margaux. The film is directed by the two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, whose documentary "Harlan County...
    January 28, 2013 | Story
  • Noujaim-the_square
    As Egyptians mark the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, we look at a new documentary that captures the ongoing protest movement in Egypt well after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak. "The Square" follows a group of activists as they risk their lives in the uprising that ousted Mubarak only to face further threats under the transitional military regime. We’re joined by the film’s Egyptian-American director, Jehane...
    January 25, 2013 | Story
  • Fruitvale-1
    It was four years ago this month that Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American, was shot to death by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer on New Year’s Day in Oakland, California. Portraying the last day of his life, the new dramatic film "Fruitvale" has become one of the most talked-about films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. We’re joined by the director, 26-year-old first-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler,...
    January 25, 2013 | Story
  • Dayani_cristal-4
    A new film featuring the Mexican film star Gael García Bernal examines the story of a Honduran migrant who died in the Arizona desert in 2010. "Who Is Dayani Cristal?" begins when border police in Arizona discover the decomposing body of a migrant in the Sonoran Desert, in an area known as the "Corridor of Death." He has no identification, but has one distinguishing feature: a tattoo that reads "Dayani Cristal."...
    January 25, 2013 | Story