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Film Festival Roundup: Sundance NEXT FEST Adds to Slate, Sidewalk Announces Lineup and More

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column.

Sundance Institute

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

– Sundance NEXT FEST, a weekend-long summer festival celebrating film and music, has added music videos by Mark Pritchard (“Beautiful People”), Neon Indian (“Annie”), Blood Orange (“Best to You”) plus a full slate of VR experiences and a youth talent show hosted by Craig Robinson to its lineup.

Sundance NEXT FEST takes place August 12-14 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. To find out more information and buy tickets, head to their official website.

– Birmingham, Alabama’s 18th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival has announced its full slate, complete with a total of 250 films. The festival will open with “In a Valley of Violence” and close with “Little Sister.” This year’s lineup includes more than 67 feature films and 130 short films from 10 different countries.

“We are proud of our strong lineup and are excited to bring a diverse set of creative, engaging, thought-provoking, entertaining and eccentric work to film lovers across Alabama and throughout the Southeast,” said Chloe Cook, executive director of Sidewalk Film Festival. You can check out the full lineup and schedule at the festival’s official site.

– The Traverse City Film Festival announced that filmmaker and activist Kamala Lopez’s searing documentary about the lack of women’s equality in our nation, “Equal Means Equal,” has won the Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary. The film will be released on August 26 in Los Angeles and on September 2 in New York, with a digital release following on September 6.

The film “offers an unflinching look at how women are treated in the United States today. Examining both real-life stories and precedent-setting legal cases, director Kamala Lopez uncovers how outdated and discriminatory attitudes inform and influence seemingly disparate issues, from workplace harassment to domestic violence, rape and sexual assault to the foster care system, and the healthcare conglomerate to the judicial system. Along the way, she reveals the inadequacy of present laws that claim to protect women, ultimately presenting a compelling and persuasive argument for the urgency of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.”

– newportFILM has announced that writer William Cohan will talk with hedge fund titan Bill Ackman and director Ted Braun following a screening of Braun’s film “Betting on Zero” on August 11 on the seaside lawn of Ochre Court in Newport RI. Close to a thousand people are expected to attend.

“Betting On Zero” is a documentary about Ackman’s crusade against Herbalife to expose it as a pyramid scheme. Bill Ackman is an activist investor and the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management LP.

– The 21st Stony Brook Film Festival wrapped up this weekend with their annual Closing Night Awards Reception, which saw a number of the festival’s films receives accolades in the form of both jury and audience awards. Winners included “The Fencer,” “Between Sea and Land,” “Italian Miracle,” “Jewish Blind Date,” “Venice,” “No Pay, Nudity,” “The Father and the Bear,” “Screenagers” and “A Man Called Ove.”

– The SF Latino Film Festival is gearing up for its 8th annual event next month, celebrating independent film from the Americas and Europe. Its goal is to showcase film by, about, or made with Latinos — to shine a light on inclusion. Other films are presented to expose their innovative and influential Bay Area audiences to popular foreign film as a way to celebrate cultural differences.

The festival committee is now inviting collaborators to sponsor, host, and contribute content to their upcoming events. To find out more, hit up their website.

– The Bay Area’s HellaCon will kick off on November 5 at Harmonic Brewing in the Dogpatch, and will celebrate the arts and entertainment in the Bay Area with independent artists, musicians, and filmmakers with panels and guest judges from members of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle to Pixar Animation Studios producers.

HellaCon is currently calling for film submissions for their annual film competition, the HellaCon Short Film Festival. The deadline is until August 31 and prizes range from $500-$100.  All film submissions must be between :01 and 9:59.  All filmmakers must own the rights to their content, including music and logos. Films will be accepted via FilmFreeway. For more information on the festival, visit their website.

– Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema is wrapping up their Comedians in Film repertory series with the event “Shorts,” presented with the Brooklyn Comedy Festival and Kickstarter, billed as “a weekend brunch and booze cruise through the best comedy short films of Brooklyn and beyond.” The event will take place on August 27 and 28 at Nitehawk. You can check out the full lineup right here.

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