Sundance Film Festival Comes To Hong Kong

James Marsh, Asian Editor
The Sundance Institute announced today that it will be partnering with The Metroplex to present Sundance Film Festival - Hong Kong Selects in the Asian city later this year. A selection of 8 new American independent films, all of which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, will be shown at the new 9-screen multiplex in Kowloon Bay from 19-28 September, accompanied by a delegation of filmmakers and festival organisers. 

This move comes two years after Sundance London was launched, and follows last year's opening of Sundance NEXT FEST in Los Angeles, as the festival organisers collaborate with regional partners to bring the best of American Independent Cinema to the rest of the world.

This is great news for Hong Kong cinephiles, where the ultra-competitive theatrical market place leaves precious little room for commercially risky releases such as the kind of indie fare that normally emerges from Sundance. "Hong Kong Selects" will provide local audiences with a unique opportunity to catch some of the highlights of this year's festival on the big screen.

While the eight titles won't be announced until mid-August, it's sure to be a rewarding and eclectic bunch, in keeping with the unique programming efforts of The Metroplex. Since opening in March this year, the standalone multiplex has pledged, under the guidance of Senior Program Manager Bede Cheng, formerly of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, to exhibit films outside of run-of-the-mill commercial fare, as well as popular blockbusters. This collaboration with the Sundance Institute looks to be a confident stride in the right direction.

Here's the full press release:

Sundance Institute and The Metroplex will present Sundance Film Festival - Hong Kong Selects, a screening series of new American independent films accompanied by a delegation of filmmakers and Festival organizers from September 19 to 28, 2014, at the newly opened cineplex in Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong. Drawing on the Sundance Film Festival's 30-year history of discovery and innovation and The Metroplex's commitment to supporting film culture, Sundance Film Festival - Hong Kong Selects will offer the Hong Kong premieres of eight new films direct from the 2014 Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A.
 
John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, "In our effort to share the best of American independent film with audiences outside the U.S., Hong Kong seemed an excellent location with a rich cinematic history. In partnership with The Metroplex, we look forward to presenting a program of diverse and high quality American independent films."
 
For more than three decades, Sundance Institute has promoted independent storytelling to inform and inspire audiences. Through labs, funding, special projects with key partners and the Sundance Film Festival, the Institute serves as a leading advocate for independent film and theatre artists worldwide. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Little Miss Sunshine, An Education, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Boys Don't Cry, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, and Napoleon Dynamite. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. Since 2012 Sundance Institute, with AEG Europe, has annually presented the Sundance London film and music festival and in 2013 the Institute launched the Los Angeles-based Sundance NEXT FEST, with this year's event taking place August 7 to 10.
 
The Sundance Film Festival - Hong Kong Selects program will be announced in mid-August followed by the commencement of ticket sales in late-August. The Screening Series is jointly presented by Sundance Institute and The Metroplex, supported by the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau. Screenings will span across two weekends from September 19 to 28, 2014. 
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