Sundance Film Festival Opens Day One with Groundbreaking Programming

DAY 1 | Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sundance Institute. PARK CITY, UT (January 20, 2022) – Sundance Film Festival welcomed audiences to an action-packed first day of premiere screenings and conversations featuring some of the most notable visionaries in independent film, new media, and culture at-large, including Jesse Eisenberg, Eva Longoria Bastón, Sam Green, Julianne Moore, Finn Wolfhard, Emma Stone, Dale Dickey and more. Kicking off the Festival’s first day with a press conference, Festival Director Tabitha Jackson was joined by Director of Programming Kim Yutani and Senior Programmers John Nein and Shari Frilot to tee-up what audiences can expect from the next ten days of Sundance. As a point of convergence and unity for the opening day, audiences were invited to the New Frontier Spaceship to experience 32 Sounds, an immersive audio-visual documentary experience from Award-winning documentarian Sam Green that enabled the Sundance community to connect together, as one. Additional Day One Highlights listed below.

Each year, Sundance serves as a cultural launchpad, helping to expand audience horizons through film and the conversations that occur the minute that credits roll. Continuing to foster this spirit of discussion into 2022, Sundance Film Festival programs a series of panels across discipline and topic to keep the conversation going.



  • OPENING DAY PRESS CONFERENCE | Complete Zoom Recording // PW:X&hs*4Y%

  • TABITHA JACKSON (Festival Director) on this year’s mission statement for the Festival: “The notion of community and joy speaks to our humanity–in a world dominated by screens gathering to experience joy is what the festival is all about. We will converge in any way we can. This moment in the year around these artists making this work is what we’re here for–to celebrate and champion the project of freedom of creative expression and the independent voice.”

  • KIM YUTANI (Director of Programming) on the broader “trends” and themes programmers noticed this year: “We don't intentionally program to themes, but we’re very attuned to the submissions we’re getting. Films speak to each other, to the cultural moment and to audiences. Just to address some of the trends and connections we saw within the work this year - we saw a lot of work that addresses the current state of the environment, climate politics–I’d signal out the doc To The End dealing directly with the green new deal. There are also striking films from Latin America like Utama and The Cow That Sang A Song Into The Future. We also noticed a lot of films around reproductive rights: The Janes, Call Janes, The Happening and Aftershock. We also saw films that deal with injustice especially from the viewpoint of people of color and women. Here, I would mention 892, God’s Country, and also the documentaries, Phoenix Rising, and the film Nothing Compares which focuses on Sinead O’Connor.”


  • ROBERT REDFORD (Sundance Institute Founder), JOANA VICENTE (Sundance Institute CEO), TABITHA JACKSON (Sundance Film Festival Director) provided a welcome to this year’s festival, followed by a short film, Spirals, featuring CARRIE MAE WEEMS.

  • This can also be viewed on the homepage of


  • Festival Welcome and 32 Sounds | LINK TO STILLS

  • Despite being online, people came together in a theater (in their avatar form) for the ambitious opening moment of the Festival when Award-winning documentarian Sam Green returned to Sundance with a groundbreaking and immersive documentary that explores the elemental phenomenon of sound and how it affects our conscious and unconscious lives. This indelible, feature-length journey weaves together 32 audio experiences, crafting a cinematic poem about the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world.

  • FILM Q&As

  • When You Finish Saving The World Panel | LINK TO STILLS

  • JESSE EISENBERG (First-time Director) on the personal inspiration for this script: “The movie was in some ways born of my inner conflict of the work that I do and mainstream entertainment, being so exposed to the work that’s done in these [women’s shelters] - the immediate need in social service. The movie is kind of born of that: the conflict between art and social activism. These characters are in some ways reflective of the fight that I’m struggling with in my own mind.”

  • JULIANNE MOORE (Actor) on the collaborative spirit of independent films: ”When you make a little movie like this, you’re there because this is important to you. There’s no other agenda than to create this thing together.”

  • JULIANNE MOORE (Actor) on what most excited her about the script: “I was really relishing this opportunity to play a character who was a human being, who didn't get it right! Who actually had a difficult time communicating, who had every intention of being the kind of parent that she wanted to be but was failing - miserably. And was better able to communicate with someone outside her family… I feel like this movie was rife with those moments that were incredibly illuminating and humane.”

  • La Guerra Civil Panel | LINK TO STILLS

  • EVA LONGORIA BASTÓN (Director) on her recent experiences directing: “This is my third documentary, and first feature-length, and I’ve produced about five. It’s one of my favorite mediums. I love humanizing issues.”

  • EVA LONGORIA BASTÓN (Director) on grappling with her Latinidad in the process of making this film: “I’m 100% Mexican and 100% American. At the same time. You don’t have to choose.”

  • ***Note: Highlights and Assets from the following Late Night Film Q&As will be shared the following morning:

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TUNE IN TODAY: Friday, January 21

  • FESTIVAL VILLAGE: Now is the time to dip into Festival Village and add everything of interest to your schedule by “favoriting” – you don’t need reservations, but make a schedule now so that you don’t hear about it after it happens.




  • 892 | 3:18 PM ET // 1:18 PM MT // 12:18 PM PT

  • Abi Damaris Corbin (Director, co-writer), Kwame Kwei-Armah (Writer); John Boyega (Actor), Connie Britton (Actor), Olivia Washington (Actor), Nicole Beharie (Actor), and Selenis Leyva (Actor).

  • Living | 3:48 PM ET // 1:48 PM MT // 12:48 PM PT

  • Oliver Hermanus (Director), Bill Nighy (Actor), Aimee Lou Wood (Actor)

  • Call Jane | 9:52 PM ET // 7:52 PM MT //6:52 PM PT

  • Phyllis Nagy (Director), Elizabeth Banks (Actor), Sigourney Weaver (Actor), Wuumi Mosaku (Actor), Robbie Brenner (Producer)

  • Master | 10:06 PM ET // 8:06 PM MT // 7:06 PM PT

  • Mariama Diallo (Director, Amber Gray (Actor), Zoe Renee (Actor), Regina Hall (Actor)


The Festival takes place digitally via our enhanced online platform at, on the New Frontier Spaceship, a bespoke immersive platform allowing festival goers to gather virtually, and in-person at seven Satellite Screens venues around the country during the Festival’s second weekend. Additional programming includes a daily talk show (“How to Fest: Daily”), and Satellite Screen conversations as well as partner offerings in the Festival Village. To note, all talks are available online via livestream or posted later on to view globally. Sign up for an account at to access online. All times are U.S. Mountain Time. Tickets are on sale.



The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Flee, CODA, Passing, Summer Of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On The Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs and sex, lies, and videotape.

The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute. 2022 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, AMC+, Chase Sapphire, Adobe; Leadership Sponsors – Amazon Studios, DIRECTV, DoorDash, Dropbox, Netflix, Omnicom Group, WarnerMedia, XRM Media; Sustaining Sponsors – Aflac, Audible, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Dell Technologies, IMDbPro, Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, Rabbit Hole Bourbon & Rye, Unity Technologies, University of Utah Health, White Claw Hard Seltzer; Media Sponsors – The Atlantic, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Shadow and Act, Variety, Vulture. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Visit for more

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