Sundance NEXT FEST 2016 Lights Up Downtown LA This Summer

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The Sundance Film Festival sheds its bulky sweaters and mountain parkas to reveal Sundance NEXT FEST, Aug. 12-14 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. The weekend-long summer festival marks its fourth appearance in LA and celebrates the renegade spirit of independent artists. Each of six new independent film premieres will be paired with either a music act, live performance or conversation with an icon of independent cinema.

New program elements this year include NEXT DOOR, a free outdoor entertainment venue for attendees to mingle and enjoy a drink, and a short film program. Also, just before NEXT FEST kicks off, NIGHT BEFORE NEXT, a celebration event on Aug. 11, will benefit the Institute and honor an independent filmmaker to watch.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Sundance NEXT FEST is a heat wave of new independent film, music and more. For our fourth year we’re mixing things up with more films and an outdoor entertainment venue, offering bigger and better opportunities for audiences to celebrate the summer energy and spirit of film and music in LA.”

NIGHT BEFORE NEXT, a celebration benefiting Sundance Institute and its artists, will precede the jam-packed weekend revelry on August 11 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. On the eve of NEXT FEST, guests will come together to honor an emerging artist, with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Institute. Honorees in previous years have included Ryan Coogler, Benh Zeitlin, Marielle Heller and Damien Chazelle. Tickets ($150 and up) include a Sundance Institute membership and access to an outdoor party with live entertainment, interactive games and food trucks, as well as the opportunity to purchase tickets to a private dinner and reception with Institute alumni and artists.

NEXT FEST is an extension of the popular NEXT section at the Sundance Film Festival which showcases stylistically adventurous and bold films, and has launched titles including Obvious Child, Tangerine, James White, Nasty Baby, and Escape from Tomorrow. NEXT FEST highlights in previous years have included the L.A. premiere of Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America paired with a performance by Sky Ferreira, Jeff Baena’s Life After Beth followed by a solo acoustic set by Father John Misty, a screening of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night with a live performance by Warpaint, a back- to- back DJ set by Neon Indian and Toro Y Moi, the world premiere of Kendrick Lamar’s short film, m.A.A.d., and an extended conversation between the filmmakers of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter and Werner Herzog.

The lineup will be announced later this summer, and tickets ($15-25) will go on sale at that time as well. Guests will also be able to choose between purchasing full weekend festival packages or individual tickets to select events. Sundance Institute members will have access to an advance ticket sale, special member seating at screenings, an invitation to an exclusive members party and auto entry into our NEXT FEST sweepstakes. For more information and to become a member, visit sundance.org/next.

View photos from NEXT FEST 2015, featuring Miranda July, Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig.