Sundance Festival Opens on…Spaceship

by paradoxig

Sundance Film Festival has started, and we hope that all of you are prepared for days of talks, workshops, and long awaited films and VR experiences, carefully selected by the curators and directors of the Festival!

Sundance Film Festival 2022 welcomed audiences to an action-packed first day of premiere screenings and conversations! 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 Chief Curator of the New Frontier program 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.

32 Sounds / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Sam Green) — An immersive documentary and sensory film experience that explores the elemental phenomenon of sound and its power to bend time, cross borders, and profoundly shape our perception of the world around us. The film will be presented in its “live cinema” form, featuring live music and live narration. World Premiere

TABITHA JACKSON (Festival Director) referring to this year’s mission statement for the Festival, said: “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) talked about 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”. KIM YUTANI highlighted that a lot of work deals with the current state of the environment, climate politics or  injustice especially from the viewpoint of people of color and women, but there were also a lot of films from Latin America. 

The New Frontier lineup from this year is amazing, consisting of experiences that deal with environment, reproductive rights, indigenous experiences, or performances where dancers worked together with creative technologists. Here you can review all the experiences selected for Sundance. 

SHARI FRILOT (Chief Curator of the New Frontier program ), talking about the efforts to build the platforms highlighted that the Spaceships built for the Festival is not only about watching films and to present the incredible XR lineup. 

After the Art Gallery was built, organizers made a space  for a Film Party, a bar with lounges that can host premier parties or receptions for filmmakers. But, it is also a space where people from different parts of the world can interact and talk. “Having a social platform like the Spaceship, really allows us to become more accessible to communities that would never have been able to come”, said Shari Frilot  For example, this year, the Spaceship will host some community mixers. 

Shari Frilot: Statement New Frontier 2022
Life of Earth 3.0

We are entering a new phase of Life on Earth. The story of “too big to fail” cracked last year. Remember the narrative that oil companies were impervious to change? Or what Blackness in America was before 2020? Or how expandable our environment was before 2021? As tech monopolies control us by isolating us and extracting our human data and resources, a web 3.0 now emerges that decentralizes power and makes possible an internet that is accountable to the individuals who use it.
Our artists continue to be our visionaries. The 2022 edition of New Frontier creative technologists, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, poets, and dance troupes powerfully purpose immersive storytelling to share death and delusion in the face, and bear witness to indigeneous and environmental injustices. They take a hard look at internet addiction, state control, the legacy of colonial conquests, and open new doors to the sublime.
We are losing our homes and human lives as the climate gets hotter. How do we shake our delusions of being separate from the Earth, it’s flora, fauna, water, oxygen, and carbon? How can live in sympoietic connection with our animals, our societies, our environment, and our technologies? Must the values of 1% of our society drive us to destroy our environment? New Frontier artists illuminate values that offer powerful alternatives moving forward.

Our advice: Check out the Community Hub events in order to see all the programs from partners such as: Asia Society, Black House Foundation, CNN Films, LatinX House , European Film Promotion and many more!


And it is true! The amazing Spaceship build at Sundance was crowded on the first day!

For the festival Festival Welcome where 32 Sounds was projected, 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.


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.


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.

Full details on New Frontier’s 2022 edition:

THE SPACESHIP is a virtual venue situated to orbit Earth alongside the International Space Station and is globally accessible January 20-28 via laptop or VR headset. It will host:

The Gallery, which will showcase the complete 2022 New Frontier lineup of XR work + Easter eggs.
Cinema House, a venue featuring live streaming, room-scale address and chat functionalities.
– A programmed series of Artist Spotlights designed to enable artists to represent their projects in person at The Craft in Park City and on The Spaceship in Cinema House.
Film Party, a virtual social space, that allows audiences to inhabit avatars for organic, proximity-based, person-to-person webcam chat and connection. This venue will host dedicated film premiere parties after their online premieres and live Q&As, bringing filmmakers together with their online audiences to celebrate their films in both halves of the festival.


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. 

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. 

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