FQ editor-in-chief B. Ruby Rich presents her take on the online/hybrid Sundance Film Festival 2021. She notes the various ways in which the festival attempted to transfer the in-person experience to the at-home screen, including post-screening Q&As, a virtual lounge, online panels and “conversations,” and a VR interface for the New Frontier offerings. She appreciated that the online architecture allowed for a sequencing of events that eliminated her usual fear of “missing” an essential film. As has often been her experience at Sundance, she found the documentaries to be of greater interest than the fiction films, with entries from Europe being particularly strong. Festival highlights that she discusses include Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised by Questlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson), My Name is Pauli Murray (Betsy West and Judy Cohen), Hive (Blerta Basholli), El Planeta (Amalia Ulman), Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen), President (Camilla Nielsson), and Writing by Fire (Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh), all from 2021.

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