Sundance Film Festival

Talking about art at Sundance

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Sundance Film Festival attendees who are looking to unglue their eyes from screens and emerge from darkened movie theaters now and again just got a little added incentive. The Festival has announced a series of panels, roundtables and special events examining the powerfully transformative role of art and culture in society.

Many of the panels will address topics of great concern to filmmakers today. For instance, in “The Doctors are in the House,” industry experts and practitioners will investigate ways for the independent filmmaking community to recover from the effects of the economic downturn and find new paths to creativity and distribution. A panel called “Can’t Be Done” will bring together a group of people from far-reaching fields — microfinance pioneer and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, education reformer Geoffrey Canada, environmental visionary Lester Brown — who have overcome great obstacles to accomplish more than was thought possible. “Art in America” will examine the way art can “bridge understanding, provide a vision for social change, and drive the economy.” And NPR’s Michele Norris will interview the performing artist Anna Deveare Smith about the way she combines journalism and performance to consider our national identity.

Other speakers will include Russell Banks, Ryan Gosling, Nicole Holofcener, Sebastian Junger, Amir Bar-Lev, Adrian Grenier and Michael Penn, to name a few of many. Click here for more information on the panels and panelists to be featured in this year’s off-screen Festival events.