Filmmakers Werner Herzog and DA Pennebaker, along with Google VR lead Jessica Brillhart, are among the speakers set to take part in the Sundance Film Festival’s off-screen programming and ‘Art of Film’ weekend.
The festival’s Cinema Cafe will present a set of panels programmed in collaboration with The New York Times’ ‘TimesTalks’ series.
A session on January 22 finds Girls creator and star Lena Dunham in discussion with TV icon Norman Lear, principal of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady‘s doc Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, while talk show host Chelsea Handler of Netflix docuseries Chelsea Does will be in conversation with Morgan Spurlock on January 23.
Werner Herzog – who this year brings Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World to the festival – is featured in a session with The Look of Silence director Joshua Oppenheimer on January 25.
A ‘How to Save the World’ session questioning the impact of environmental docs, meanwhile, will feature Beverly and Dereck Joubert (Reflections on Elephants), Louie Psihoyos (Racing Extinction), and Josh Fox (How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change).
Finally, the ‘Art of Film’ weekend will kick off on January 29 with a conversation with filmmakers DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. The directing team is at the festival this year with Unlocking the Cage, which follows animal rights activist Steven Wise and his mission to achieve legal rights for certain animals.
Elsewhere, an ‘Adapting Genres to Virtual Reality’ session, a consideration of how far VR has come in navigating story, will include Oculus Story Studio’s Saschka Unseld, Google’s Brillhart – who spoke with realscreen at IDFA in November – as well as Baobab’s Eric Darnell and Apelab’s Emilie Joly.
The Sundance Film Festival runs in Park City, Utah, from January 21 to 31.