As the U.K. remains on track to open all indoor cinema screens from May 17, Sundance London (July 29-Aug. 1) will be an in-person event this year at the Picturehouse Central cinemas, after a virtual 2020 effort.
In partnership with Universal, consecutive screenings of the film will take place in multiple cinemas across the U.K. with a filmmaker Q&A simultaneously broadcast from Picturehouse Central on July 29.
The full program, which will be announced later, will include more than 12 features, panel discussions, Q&As and guest appearances.
Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson said: “We’re thrilled to return to London and expand across the U.K. with an exciting program of films that tell fresh, independent stories — stories which are essential as we endeavour to understand our past while we reimagine our present and future.”
Clare Binns, joint managing director of Picturehouse Cinemas, added: “It’s great to be back working with all of our friends at the Sundance Film Festival. We’re so excited to bring back inspiring independent films to the big screen — during this year’s Sundance London we will come together to watch, discuss and immerse ourselves in an art form which has since been lost to us for over a year.”
“The Sparks Brothers,” about Ron and Russell Mael, the creators of the pop and rock band Sparks, debuted at Sundance in January and has had festival play dates at SXSW and Hot Docs.
Wright said: “I was just five years old when I was hypnotized by Ron & Russell Mael (collectively Sparks) staring at me from the telly on a 1979 episode of ‘Top Of The Pops.’ Over the next four decades, their music has been a riddle turned full on obsession. The final destination of my fascination has been to make what I believe is the only thing stopping them from being as big as they deserve to be; a document of their incredible journey in music and everyone they’ve inspired along the way.”
“It’s very exciting for me to finally bring ‘The Sparks Brothers’ to Sundance London, as the U.K. were the first country to embrace Sparks’ genius,” the “Baby Driver” filmmaker added. “I look forward to everyone falling in love all over again or being as amazed as I was when I first saw and heard them.”
The documentary was produced by Wright and Nira Park, through their company Complete Fiction Pictures, along with producers George Hencken, and Complete Fiction’s Laura Richardson. The film was financed by MRC Non-Fiction.
Universal will release the film in the U.K. on July 30.