Grab your tickets, or tune in, to participate in the 2021 edition of the prestigious Sundance Film Festival right here in Houston, courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) and the Sundance Satellite program, happening daily from Thursday, January 28 through Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
With the support of HCAS, Sundance Institute is bringing the 2021 Sundance Film Festival to Houston, with screenings at Moonstruck Drive-In in the East End and the historic DeLuxe Theater in the Fifth Ward.
Through the Sundance Satellite program, official selections of the festival and “beyond film” programs will play at both locations. Selected films reflect filmmakers, stories, directors, and actors from a very Houston-appropriate diverse collection of backgrounds.
Films include I Was a Simple Man starring Constance Wu, Passing starring Tessa Thompson, Judas and the Black Messiah starring Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, and Texas-set Miss Juneteenth.
2021 Sundance Film Festival: Sunset Satellite Lineup in Houston
- A Conversation with Richard Linklater & Channing Godfrey Peoples | Thursday, January 28 | FREE with RSVP | Virtual – Tune in for a fascinating conversation between independent Texas filmmakers Linklater and Channing, whose works have focused on specific communities in the state. Peoples’ film Miss Juneteenth is being screened at The DeLuxe Theater in Houston’s Fifth Ward as part of the festival later in the weekend. 4pm.
- Opening Night: CODA at Moonstruck Drive-In | Thursday, January 28, 2021 – Catch Siân Heder’s heartwarming, exuberant film that takes audiences inside the idiosyncratic rhythms and emotions of a deaf family—something rarely seen on screen. In her film CODA, which stands for Child of Deaf Adults, Heder tells the story authentically with deaf actors and features Emilia Jones in a fantastic breakout performance. $30. 7:30pm
- I Was a Simple Man at Moonstruck Drive-In | Friday, January 29, 2021 – Nature is both a driving force and a spiritual indicator in the Hawai’i-based second feature from writer-director Christopher Makoto Yogi. When Masao is healthy, his plants thrive; when a terminal sickness encroaches, the plants wither and die. The island’s ambient noises—the waves, the wind, the birds—thread through the film from Oahua’s pre-World War II sugar plantations to the present gentrification of Honolulu. $30. 7:30pm
- Passing at Moonstruck Drive-In | Saturday, January 30, 2021 – Tessa Thompson plays a refined, upper-class 1920s woman who encounters a former high school classmate, played by Ruth Negga. While both are African American women who can “pass” as white, they have chosen to live on opposite sides of the color line. Now, their renewed acquaintance threatens them both. $30. 7:30pm
- Mayday at Moonstruck Drive-In | Sunday, January 31, 2021 – After a short circuit at Ana’s workplace mysteriously transports her to an alternate world, she meets a crew of female soldiers caught in an endless war. Along a strange and rugged coastline, men face the stark truth lurking behind damsels who appear to be in distress. $30. 7:30pm
- Miss Juneteenth at The DeLuxe Theater | Sunday, January 31, 2021 – The sole film to be screened at the Fifth Ward’s history DeLuxe Theater, the Texas-based film tells the story of Turquoise Jones, a single mom who holds down a household, a rebellious teenager, and pretty much everything that goes down at Wayman’s BBQ & Lounge. The film finds Jones, once crowned Miss Juneteenth herself, determined to right her wrongs and cultivate her daughter, Kai, to become Miss Juneteenth… despite Kai’s wishes. $30. 7:30pm
- Judas and the Black Messiah at Moonstruck Drive-In | Monday, February 1, 2021 – As chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, Hampton demanded all power to the people and inspired a growing movement of solidarity, prompting the FBI to consider him a threat and to plant informant William O’Neal to infiltrate the party. $30. 8pm
- Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir at Moonstruck Drive-In | Tuesday, February 2, 2021 – Literary titan Amy Tan analyzes her life, her work, and her family—in the present and past tense—in a longitudinal biopic directed by James Redford. As Tan traces her childhood through The Joy Luck Club and her later compositions, she dissects issues of representation, multigenerational trauma, and the stigma and challenge of illness. $30. 7:30pm
Social Distancing & COVID-19
As we enter into the vaccination phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical experts still advise that we have a way to go before we achieve herd immunity and can safely resume pre-pandemic activities. In the meantime, you can remain vigilant in protecting yourself against the coronavirus by continuing to wear face masks when in public spaces, practice social distancing of at least six feet, limit your touching of surfaces, and frequently use hand sanitizer or soap and water to keep your hands clean.
While the Governor of Texas has lifted mandatory mask orders and capacity limits, most businesses are still requiring face masks to enter and enforcing reduced capacity. Familiarize with your destination’s policies ahead of time and please respect their public safety precautions.
2021 Sundance Film Festival Houston
- Dates: Thursday, January 28 through Tuesday, February 2, 2021
- Times: Times vary, but most screenings are at 7:30pm. Click here for more details.
- Locations: Most screenings will be held at Moonstruck Drive-In in the East End, while Texas-set Miss Juneteenth will be screened at the historic DeLuxe Theater in the Fifth Ward. Prior to opening night, there will also be an online, virtual event.
- Admission: Tickets are $30 per vehicle for all screenings; the live virtual event is free with registration. Order tickets or get more information.
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