California at night. Photo by: tookapic.com
California at night. Photo by: tookapic.com

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Written by: Matthew McGuire
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Sundance NEXT FEST 2015 is underway in downtown Los Angeles. The festival returns for their second year of premiering film at the Ace Hotel Theater.

This year the festival kicked off with a screening of Cop Car at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Sunday, August 2.

The New Frontier exhibition at the Sundance Film Festival, now joins Sundance NEXT FEST with Max Rheiner’s Oculus Rift-based virtual reality installation Birdly.

Birdly simulates the experience of being a bird from a first-person perspective through a full-body virtual reality setup. All attendees can experience this installation, which will be located at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Mezzanine, at no additional cost through an onsite waitlist system.

The festival will host a variety of filmmakers, cast and musicians. Some of the crew that is expected to attend Sundance NEXT FEST includes: Rick Alverson, Noah Baumbach, Bryan Carberry, Munro Chambers, Greta Gerwig, HEALTH, Tim Heidecker, Lola Kirke, Michael Larnell, François Simard, Superhumanoids, Gregg Turkington, Clay Tweel, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell.

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ANXIOUS IN VENICE (Band: Superhumanoids, Director: Taylor Cohen) — It’s 4:37 a.m. and someone straps a camera to your chest. Nearby, your hungover bandmate sips gas station coffee and the director yells about missing the sunrise. You hate performance music videos but you’re sure this one will be different. Then again, when you’ve been up all night and are shooting without a permit — you can’t be sure of anything. Welcome to ANXIOUS IN VENICE. Music Video. WORLD PREMIERE

Mistress America / U.S.A. (Director: Noah Baumbach, Screenwriters: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig) — Tracy is a lonely college freshman in New York, having neither the exciting university experience nor the glamorous metropolitan lifestyle she envisioned. But when she is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke – a resident of Times Square and adventurous gal about town – she is rescued from her disappointment and seduced by Brooke’s alluringly mad schemes. Cast: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Sky Ferreira — Sky Ferreira has quickly established herself as one of today’s most exciting new faces in music, film and fashion. She first signed to Capitol Records at the early age of 15 where she eventually wrote & executive produced her critically acclaimed debut album, Night Time, My Time. As an actress, she has worked with many independent filmmakers including Eli Roth, Liza Johnson & Matthew Porterfield. Sky is currently recording her highly anticipated new album, Masochism.
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Saturday, August 8, 3:30 p.m.

Finders Keepers / U.S.A. (Directors: Bryan Carberry, Clay Tweel) — Recovering addict and amputee John Wood finds himself in a stranger-than-fiction battle to reclaim his mummified leg from Southern entrepreneur Shannon Whisnant, who found it in a grill he bought at an auction and believes it, therefore, to be his rightful property. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Followed by a conversation between directors Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel, subject John Wood and special guests Aubrey Plaza and Thomas Middleditch.

Saturday, August 8, 8:00 p.m.

DEATH MAGIC (Band: HEALTH, Director: Pablo Ferro) — The sun slowly sets; its beauty soundtracked by a serene yet melancholy sound. As the last rays of light slip behind the clouds, a violent transformation takes place. The music, ever-changing and explosive, creates the imagery… supergraphic and never seen before! The quick cuts in sync with the music, introduce the emotional range and complexity of HEALTH’S new album DEATH MAGIC. Album Trailer. WORLD PREMIERE

Entertainment / U.S.A. (Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington, Tim Heidecker) — In an attempt to revive his dwindling career and reunite with his estranged daughter, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the California desert. Cast: Gregg Turkington, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Michael Cera, Amy Seimetz, Lotte Verbeek. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Sharon Van Etten — Singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten writes from free-flowing emotional honesty and vulnerability, creating a bond with the listener that few contemporary musicians can match. Following her 2012 break-through Tramp, last year’s follow up Are We There and her new EP I Don’t Want to Let You Down, Van Etten finds herself in full stride, writing, producing and performing.
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Sunday, August 9, 3:30 p.m.

Cronies / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael J. Larnell) — Twenty-two-year-old Louis doesn’t know whether his childhood friendship with Jack will last beyond today. Cast: George Sample III, Zurich Buckner, Brian Kowalski.LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Followed by a conversation between director Michael J. Larnell and special guest Robert Townsend.

Sunday, August 9, 8:00 p.m.

FUCKKKYOUUU (Director: Eddie Alcazar, Music: Flying Lotus) — With the ability to travel in time, a lonely girl finds love and comfort by connecting with her past self. Eventually faced with rejection she struggles with her identity and gender, and as time folds onto itself only one of them can remain. Cast: Jesse Sullivan, Charles Baker.Experimental Short / Music Video. WORLD PREMIERE

Turbo Kid / Canada, New Zealand (Directors and screenwriters: Anouk Whissell, François Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell) — Set in a post apocalyptic year of 1997, this nostalgic tribute to ’80s action-adventure films follows an orphaned teenager who goes on an adventure to save his female-robot companion from the hands of the evil warlord who controls the only water supply. Cast: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron Jeffery, Edwin Wright. LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

Neon Indian (DJ set) B2B Toro Y Moi (DJ set)  — Neon Indian, the brainchild of Alan Palomo, is defined by a unique electro-mangled sound which has attracted fans and opening slots before acts like Massive Attack, The Flaming Lips, Phoenix and Chromeo. Toro Y Moi, the guise of Chaz Bundick, channels a wide swath of stylistic influences into his electronics-incorporating music and cites Big Star, Talking Heads and Todd Rundgren as some of his inspirations.
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Film News

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