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Sundance Institute's NEXT FEST Moves to Downtown Los Angeles

Photo of Shipra Gupta By Shipra Gupta | Indiewire May 20, 2014 at 5:02PM

Built in the 1920s by United Artists, the theater at the Ace Hotel boasts 1600 seats, a 2,300 square foot lobby and intricate murals along many of its vast walls.
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Ace Hotel
Courtesy of Ace Hotel

The Sundance Institute has announced that the 2014 edition of NEXT FEST will take place at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Built in the 1920s by the United Artists studio, the Theatre at Ace Hotel is designed in the Spanish Gothic tradition, boasting 1,600 seats, a 2,300 square foot lobby and intricate murals along its vast walls.

"This beautiful Los Angeles gem was built as a maverick film studio and stands as a monument to independent artists who forged their own path," said Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam. "A similar spirit will be visible in the films and music acts at NEXT FEST."

Putnam's description of the theatre as "a monument to independent artists who forged their own path" refers to United Artists founders Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith -- all of who not only laid the groundwork for the film industry, but, more importantly, played a key role in the development of the cinematic language.

Indeed, NEXT FEST expounds upon the NEXT section at the Sundance Film Festival -- which features a slate of films that are, per a statement issued by the Sundance Institute, "stylistically adventurous and bold." Notable NEXT section alumni include Evan Glodell's "Bellflower," Alexandre Moors' "Blue Caprice," and Zal Batmanglij's "sound of my voice."

Reopened earlier this year after undergoing restoration, the Theatre at Ace Hotel has quickly become a hub for the indie music and film scene in L.A.. Back in March, the Theatre at Ace Hotel hosted the L.A. debut for Jonathan Glazer's long-anticipated sophomore feature, "Under the Skin" -- an event that attracted the likes of Chloe Sevigny, Kelly Lynch, Liz Goldwyn and Catherine Hardwicke.

By providing the venue for NEXT FEST the Ace Hotel will cement its relationship with the indie filmmaking community and perhaps, along the way, inspire the Los Angeles film community to revisit - revel or bask might actually be more appropriate terms - in its rich cinematic history in the same way that New York does.

This year's NEXT FEST will unofficially kickoff on August 7th with a cult film screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Sundance Institute will partner on this event with Cinespia, the long-time producers of the popular Hollywood Forever summer screening series. The official run of the festival is August 8-10th.

This article is related to: Sundance Institute, Keri Putnam





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