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Celine Song’s Past Lives wins the Sundance London Audience Award

Celine Song’s Past Lives wins the Sundance London Audience Award

Sundance Institute and Picturehouseannounced tonight that the 2023 Sundance Film Festival: London’s Audience Award is presented to Past Liveswritten and directed by Celine Song. The film is produced by David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler and Christine Vachon, and stars Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro.  StudioCanal will release the film in UK cinemas from 8 September.

Past Lives follows Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, who are wrested apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life, in this heartrending modern romance.

Past Lives had its UK premiere at the 10th edition of Sundance Film Festival: London following its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January. Festival-goers voted in the thousands for their favourite films across the four-day event at Picturehouse Central for this Audience Award.

The Sundance Film Festival: London ran from 6 to 9 July 2023 at Picturehouse Central, presenting a selection of feature films and documentaries from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival held in Utah, specially curated for London by the Sundance Institute programming team in collaboration with Picturehouse.

Numerous filmmakers and actors attended the festival to introduce their films and participate in audience Q&As, including Charlotte Regan, Harris Dickinson and Lola Campbell for the UK premiere of Scrapper; Ira Sachs and Ben Whishaw for French romance drama Passages; Andrew Durham and Emilia Jones for coming-of-age drama Fairyland; directors Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou for their horror-thriller Talk To Me; Lío Mehiel, star of Mutt; director Celine Song of Past Lives and pioneer of queer cinema, Gregg Araki, with three retrospective films showcased:The Doom GenerationThree Bewildered People In The Night and Mysterious Skin.

Documentary makers in attendance included Anton Corbijn with Squaring the Circle (The story of Hipgnosis); Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn with their emotionally vibrant documentary Going Varsity in Mariachi; Maximilien Van Aetryck and Axel Danielson with their engrossing Fantastic Machine and Bethann Hardison and Frédéric Tcheng with their documentary Invisible Beauty which looks back at the incredible impact Hardison has had over the last five decades as an activist, model and muse.  The festival closed on 9 July with the UK premiere screening of You Hurt My Feelings from acclaimed filmmaker Nicole Holofcener, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies.

The festival’s second dedicated Industry Programme successfully ran alongside the festival’s public screenings and events. During four days of industry-focused talks and events, this robust strand welcomed hundreds of members of the UK film industry to build their personal networks, understand industry trends, discover new work and share their own unique storytelling passions with other independent filmmakers. Each industry passholder had exclusive access to a host of industry-only events during the festival, including intimate roundtable meetings, keynotes, masterclasses, themed panel discussions and daily networking drinks.

The festival was thrilled to host U.S. producer Anthony Bregman, who premiered three features at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January, to deliver the in-person industry keynote talk.  Other top-level industry speakers included Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente, Sundance Film Festival Director Eugene Hernandez, and Sundance Director of Programming Kim Yutani; top UK funders and commissioners including Mia Bays (BFI Film Fund); Alice Whittemore (Film4), Eva Yates (BBC Film) and Andrew Orr (Sky Cinema); directors Prano Bailey Bond and Alice Lowe; screenwriter Tony Grisoni; script consultant Kate Leys; producers Carlo Cresto-Dina, Matt Wilkinson, Faye Ward, Emily Morgan, Sarah Brocklehurst and Farah Abushwesha plus many more.

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Sundance Film Festival: London 2023 is supported by: Headline Partner – Audible. Lead Partner  – United Airlines. Supporting Partners – Adobe and State of Utah. Event Partner – Mubi. Drinks Partner – TRIP CBD.  Media Partner – Screen International.  Hotel Partner – The May Fair Hotel.

The Sundance Film Festival: London industry programme is presented by United Airlines. Additional partners include: Adobe, Audible, BBC Film, BFI Network, BIFA, Dark Matter, Doc Society, Film4, Lee & Thompson, Netflix, Nowness, Screen International and ScreenSkills