The Midwest Films at Sundance 2017

The Midwest Films at Sundance 2017

Sundance 2017 is underway and I'll be here for every minute, bringing you exclusive interviews and news on films, Midwest and otherwise, as bow here in Park City. Here are some Midwest made films set to screen here in the snow (and I'll have even more for ya first thing next week):

COLUMBUS DAY: This feature landed in Columbus, Indiana with an impressive cast that includes Parker Posey and John Cho. Here is my full story on COLUMBUS when as it was heading into production last summer, "Harold and Parker Go to Columbus."

INCREDIBLE INDIANA: THE INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES is the fourth feature from Goshen, Indiana native Jim Strouse, and like his previous three films (PEOPLE PLACES THINGS, GRACE IS GONE, THE WINNING SEASON), this film is making its world premiere at Sundance. Set and shot in New York but written and directed by an Indiana native so I'm giving it a nod here.

DID YOU HEAR WE HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT? Here's a fun factoid for you. The highly anticipated documentary TRUMPED: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL UPSET OF ALL TIME is directed by Ted Bourne, who studied at the University of Chicago.

SHORT STACK: On the short film side, VISIONS OF AN ISLAND cracked the Sundance 2017 lineup and is directed by Milwaukee filmmaker Sky Hopinka. Hopinka, a Ho-Chunk Nation national and descendant of the Pechanga Band of LuiseƱo Indians, centers his work around personal positions of homeland and landscape, designs of language, and the facets of culture contained within.

UNFLINCHING FILMMAKING: WHOSE STREETS offers an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising, told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice. The documentary is co-directed by Sabaah Folayan and St. Louis filmmaker Damon Davis, and the film's financial supporters include Chicago Media Project and its co-founders Paula Froehle and Steve Cohen. I actually wound up sitting next to the film's archival producer Mridu Chandra on the shuttle to the premiere and we had an impromptu chat, here it is!

There are several more films out of the Midwest that are set to premiere at Sundance and Slamdance... I'll bring you the scoop on those first thing next week. In the meantime, if you are here in Park City, feel free to drop me a line anytime at mm@screenmag.com.

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.