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The Sundance Question: “How Did Events of 2020 Change Your Film?”

Park City's main street with a snow-covered mountain looming in the background, the Egyptian Theater in clear view.Photo: Kelsey Doyle, courtesy Sundance Institute.

Each year Filmmaker asks all the incoming feature directors at Sundance one question. (To see past years’ questions and responses, click here.)

This year’s question:

 “How did events of 2020 — any of them — change your film, either in the way you approached it, produced it, post-produced it, or are now thinking about it?

“The Scope of the Story Also Expanded”: Director Nanfu Wang | In the Same Breath

“I Feel Like in 2020 I Was Lucky”: Director Miriam Guttmann | Seeds of Deceit

“Whether It’s a Refugee Crisis or a Pandemic, We Are All in This Together”: Director Jonah Poher Rasmussen | Flee

“I Became More Interested Than Ever in Trying to Understand My Daughter’s Story”: Director Peter Nicks | Homeroom

“Art Is Never Finished, Only Abandoned”: Director Mariem Pérez Riera | Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided Go For It

“It Was as if the Film Had Given Us Permission to Connect”: Director Christopher Makoto Yogi | I Was a Simple Man

“It’s Reflecting the Times but Arriving Warped”: Director Dash Shaw | Cryptozoo

“People Will Watch Films Differently Today Than They Did a Year Ago”: Director Ronny Trocker | Human Factors

“The Natural World and Our Interconnectedness”: Director Sally Aitken | Playing With Sharks

“Strange to Accomplish Your Dreams in Such Times”: Director Pascual Sisto | John and the Hole

“The Uncanny Similarities of a Town Dealing with a Fast-Spreading Curse”: Director Sean Ellis | Eight for Silver

“I Usually Avoid Celebrating Birthdays, But it Felt Important to Embrace This One”: Director Pacho Velez | Searchers

“My Film Family Was Atomized”: Director Jamila Wignot | Ailey

“The Most Cruel Form of Social Distancing”: Directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh | Writing With Fire

“We Had Found Ourselves in the Fairytale”: Director Salomé Jashi | Taming the Garden

“A Continuing Lesson to Be Patient with Myself”: Director Kate Tsang | Marvelous and the Black Hole

“Everyone Started Living a Kind of Extended Groundhog Day”: Director Nicole Beckwith | Together Together

“Technology Hasn’t Taken Away the Longing to Hug”: Director Natalia Almada | Users

“Last Year Made Me Want to Find Other Ways of Processing Their Meaning”: Director Theo Anthony | All Light Everywhere

“Firework Explosions Went Off During So Many Sleepless Nights Just as They Do in Our Film”: Director Karen Cinorre | Mayday

“Fatal Violence Against Black Americans Made Pauli’s Story Relevant in Ways We Wish it Weren’t”: Directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen | My Name is Pauli Murray

“I Promised I Wouldn’t Cut My Hair”: Director Amalia Ulman | El Planeta

“The Studios Where We Edited Had to Close All of a Sudden”: Director Blerta Basholli | Hive

“Without Realizing it, I Made a Movie That Obeyed the Rules of Social Distancing”: Director Jane Schoenbrun | We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

“I Drove Out to Texas Alone and Slept in My Car on the Way”: Director Manuel Crosby | First Date

“The Longer Schedule Forced Us to Think More Deeply”: Directors Madeleine Sims-Flower and Dusty Mancinelli | Violation

“The Pandemic Meant There was Nothing to Do All Summer Except Sit at Home and Edit”: Directors Parker Hill & Isabel Bethancourt | Cusp

“America’s Most Incarcerated City”: Directors Ted Passon, Yoni Brook and Nicole Salazar | Philly D.A.

“Passion Projects That Are Suffering”: Director Mona Fastvold | The World to Come



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