ANNOUNCING: The Much-Anticipated Sundance NEXT FEST 2016 Lineup

Posted by Isabelle 3 months ago in Events, Features

sundance next fest 2016 banner

Bigger and weirder.

No, that’s not what’s happening to your waistline; that’s the mantra of this year’s epic Sundance NEXT FEST.

For the uninitiated, NEXT FEST is an intimate, three-day festival that showcases some of the best selections from the snow-packed peaks of the Sundance Film Festival. Often of the more ribald, edgy variety, these are screened alongside live performances from some of today’s best and brightest musical acts, the likes of which are curated by yours truly based on a shared artistic sensibility with the film.

This year, NEXT FEST is presenting the L.A. premiere of six new independent films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the world premiere of Flying Lotus aka steve’s film Royal, and a showcase of comedy short films hosted by comedian Nick Kroll. Music-wise, expect gut-wrenching performances by Shamir, Sunflower Bean, White Sea and more.

But NEXT FEST wouldn’t be bigger and weirder without the addition of a few extra events and perks. In addition to all that film and music, expect a glorious slew of accompanying celebrities, parties, classes, panels and one-off happenings as well.

Sundance NEXT FEST this year will also include NEXT DOOR, a free outdoor entertainment venue right smack next to the Theatre for festival participants to mingle, eat, drink and enjoy sponsored activities before and after the shows.

As like most things in life, NEXT FEST is also better with a Sundance membership. Members who support the non-profit Sundance Institute get blessed with perks like special seating at screenings, hush-hush party invites and are eligible to win a prize package which includes a three-night stay at the Ace Hotel plus airfare. Additionally, if you’re a member and you plan to attend the Downtown & Dirty Shorts program (see below), you’ll have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with NEXT FEST Director of Programming Trevor Groth and Programmer Charlie Reff about the festival. To join, visit

NEXT FEST takes place August 12-14 at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown L.A. Tickets run between $15-25, and are now on sale here.

Alright, enough housekeeping. Here’s the full lineup and schedule:


Thursday, August 11


Just before NEXT FEST kicks off, NIGHT BEFORE NEXT, a celebration event on August 11, will benefit the Institute. Nate Parker (The Birth of a Nation) will receive the Institute’s Vanguard Award during cocktails and dinner, and the outdoor party afterwards will feature a live musical performance by White Sea, fronted by Morgan Kibby, formerly of M83. Tickets to the outdoor party start at $150 and include an Institute membership at some levels.


Friday, August 12

Lovesong + Shamir

lovesong sundance next fest

Lovesong: Neglected wife Sarah finds herself on a road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy. During the journey, the relationship between the two young girls intensifies before unforeseen circumstances tear them apart, an event which Sarah attempts to reconcile years later in the days before Mindy’s wedding. Director: So Yong Kim. Cast: Jena Malone, Riley Keough, Brooklyn Decker, Amy Seimetz, Ryan Eggold, Rosanna Arquette.

Shamir: For being only 20 years old, the inevitable comparison between Shamir’s androgynous croon and that of Nina Simone’s is quite an accomplishment. Vacillating between the realms of soul, R&B, house, disco rap and pop with the fluidity of Prince, Grace Jones or David Bowie, Shamir’s chameleon-like music sparkles brilliantly, reflecting the ebbs and flows of what it means to feel uniquely human, but not quite one of the tribe.

8 PM @ The Theatre at the Ace Hotel


Saturday, August 13

Morris from America

craig robinson morris from america sundance next fest

In this heart-warming, coming-of-age comedy, Craig Robinson stars as the father of 13-year-old Morris. Though the two have just moved to the hip-hop-barren land of Germany, Morris won’t let anything stand in the way of his pursuit of the music he loves, or the girl of his dreams. Director: Chad Hartigan. Cast: Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson, Carla Juri, Lina Keller, Jakub Gierszał, Levin Henning. Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic and the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance – Craig Robinson at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Followed by a talent show featuring participants from Los Angeles youth arts organizations. Hosted by Morris from America star Craig Robinson.

12PM @ The Theatre at the Ace Hotel

White Girl

white girl sundance next fest

A NYC college student resorts to extreme measures to get her drug dealer boyfriend out of jail. Director: Elizabeth Wood. Cast: Morgan Saylor, Brian ‘Sene’ Marc, Justin Bartha, Chris Noth, India Menuez, Adrian Martinez.

Followed by a conversation with director and screenwriter Elizabeth Wood and a special guest.

4PM @ The Theatre at the Ace Hotel

Goat + Sunflower Bean

goat sundance next fest

Goat: In the wake of a terrifying assault, a young frat kid pledges his brother’s fraternity in an attempt to reclaim his manhood. However, brotherhood isn’t as inglorious as it seems, and what happens in the frat tests the brothers and their relationship in harsh ways. Director: Andrew Neel. Cast: Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Gardner, Danny Flaherty, Austin Lyon.

Sunflower Bean: Dubbed “NYC’s Coolest Young Band” by Rolling Stone, Sunflower Bean find magic within the friction of fuzzed-out psychedelia with a dreamy, modern twist. The trio’s full-length debut album, Human Ceremony champions that push-and-pull and colors the aural tapestry of these three musicians, the likes of which you can read more about in our hyper-fanned out love letter to them here.

8PM @ The Theatre at the Ace Hotel


Sunday, August 14

Downtown & Dirty Shorts, Hosted by Nick Kroll

downtown & dirty shorts program sundance next fest

A rollicking showcase of some of the funniest short films from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, hosted by one of the funniest human beings to ever breathe terrestrial air: Nick Kroll. Short films screening at NEXT FEST are:

  • Affections (Director and screenwriter: Bridey Elliott)
  • The Procedure (Director and screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder), winner of the Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction)
  • A Reasonable Request (Director: Andrew Laurich, Screenwriters: Gabriel Miller, Andrew Laurich)
  • Thunder Road (Director and screenwriter: Jim Cummings), winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize)
  • Too Legit (Director and screenwriter: Frankie Shaw)

nick kroll sundance next fest

12PM @ The Theatre at the Ace Hotel

Short Film Master Class

A half-day event of panel discussions and Q&As with filmmakers and Sundance Institute Short Film Programmers, providing real world advice on the art of making shorts, focusing on narrative storytelling. The event will conclude with a networking reception.

Tickets are $75 and include access to Downtown & Dirty Shorts at noon.

2PM @ The Theatre at the Ace Hotel

Under the Shadow

under the shadow sundance next fest

As if trying to survive the 1988 Iran-Iraq war wasn’t already enough, a mother and a daughter must also address a mysterious evil which stalks their apartment. In the process of these macro and micro problems, their relationship is slowly torn apart. Director: Babak Anvari. Cast: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Ray Haratian, Arash Marandi.

Followed by a conversation between director and screenwriter Babak Anvari and a special guest.

4PM @ The Theatre at the Ace Hotel

The Greasy Strangler + The World Premiere of Royal + Surprise Musical Guest

NEXT FEST’s grand finale comes in the form of a double-triple threat:

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Tumblr

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Tumblr

Royal: The world premiere of Flying Lotus aka steves’ (yes, lowercase) hallucinated L.A. earthquake hellscape. Most people have been long dead, but the few that survive must navigate their way around the strange secrets that continue to ooze forth in the wake of disaster.

the greasy strangler sundance next fest

The Greasy Strangler: When Big Ronnie and his son Brayden meet lone female tourist Janet on Big Ronnie’s Disco Walking Tour—the best and only disco walking tour in the city—a fight for Janet’s heart erupts between father and son, and the infamous Greasy Strangler is unleashed. Director: Jim Hosking. Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex, Jesse Keen, Joe David Walters.

Plus, a performance from a Special Mystery Musical Guest. Who could it be? We’ll give you a hint: it’s not Jimi Hendrix.

8PM @The Theatre at the Ace Hotel







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