For the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, IndieWire is again partnering with Canada Goose for a series of events to celebrate the female filmmakers showing work at this year’s event, including a deep-dive panel with actress-turned-filmmaker Rebecca Hall in support of her debut feature film “Passing.” The historical drama is already considered to be one of the hottest films of Sundance 2021.
Hall, alongside producers Margot Hand and Nina Yang Bongiovi, will join IndieWire Deputy Editor Kate Erbland to discuss her new film, premiering in the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition during the first weekend of the festival. The panel discussion will stream Monday, February 1 at 5:00pm Mountain Time (7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT), and you can RSVP for free to attend it here.
“Passing” tells a fascinating story that many might not immediately realize is rooted in Hall’s own experience: the daughter of beloved American opera singer Maria Ewing and British director Sir Peter Hall, Hall’s family tree is rich and varied, and includes not only British blood, but also Dutch, Native American, Scottish, and African American ancestry. For her first film, Hall tackles a fittingly complex story of birthright, bloodlines, and the ways in which people are judged by the color of their skin.
Based on Nella Larsen’s compelling novel of the same name (Hall also adapted the script), “Passing” follows a pair of childhood friends, played as adults by Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, who are reintroduced later in life and become freshly obsessed with each other’s lives. The crux of that obsession: both Clare (Negga) and Irene (Thompson) are light-skinned enough to “pass” as white women, and one of them has chosen to do exactly that. The film co-stars Andre Holland, Alexander Skarsgård, and Bill Camp.
RSVP here to join Rebecca Hall and her producers for an intimate panel about this singular film.