Opening Day Press Conference

TABITHA JACKSON (Festival Director) on this year’s mission statement for the Festival: “The notion of community and joy speaks to our humanity–in a world dominated by screens, gathering to experience joy is what the festival is all about. We will converge in any way we can. This moment, in the year around these artists making this work is what we’re here for–to celebrate and champion the project of freedom of creative expression and the independent voice.”

KIM YUTANI (Director of Programming) on the broader “trends” and themes programmers noticed this year: “We don’t intentionally program to themes, but we’re very attuned to the submissions we’re getting. Films speak to each other, to the cultural moment and to audiences. Just to address some of the trends and connections we saw within the work this year–we saw a lot of work that addresses the current state of the environment, climate politics–I’d signal out the doc To The End dealing directly with the green new deal. There are also striking films from Latin America like Utama and The Cow That Sang A Song Into The Future. We also noticed a lot of films around reproductive rights: The Janes, Call Jane, Happening and Aftershock. We also saw films that deal with injustice, especially from the viewpoint of people of color and women. Here, I would mention 892, God’s Country, and also the documentaries Phoenix Rising and Nothing Compares, the latter of which focuses on Sinead O’Connor.”

KIM YUTANI (Director of Programming) on understated films and hidden gems this year: “Palm Trees and Power Lines by Jamie Dack has a very special quality that kind of sneaks up on you. It is from a very talented first time feature filmmaker.”

Fire of Love capsule review

A still from Fire of Love by Sara Dosa, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Volcanoes have never been more sexy than in this film, especially with Miranda July’s voice narrating. I felt like July was an extension of her character from her feature directorial debut, Me and You and Everyone We Know, which also followed a love story in an unconventional way. Sara Dosa’s documentary of Katia and Maurice Krafft will make you inspired in your love life, or in your journey toward finding love. Although I won’t go to a volcano with my fiancé, I do now desire to go on more adventures together. The couple being quirky and French, always wearing traces of red, reminded me of Steve Zissou and his escapades. It framed the story in a way that was very Wes Anderson-esque. It would be interesting to see Anderson’s take on this couple and their passionate life onscreen. This is one not to miss, and watch it with your partner. It’ll heat things up, pun intended, and not ;). (Rebecca Martin, Managing Editor)

Sara Dosa, director of Fire of Love, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

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