Attention, movie buffs. The Sundance Satellite Film Festival touches down at the Moonstruck Drive-In, January 28–February 2. Because this year's famed Sundance Film Festival, which happens every January in Park City, Utah, had to be canceled, the organizers rolled out satellite film festivals in 20 cities around the country (along with going largely virtual as well), so we're lucky to be in that number.
In Houston Sundance has partnered with Houston Cinema Arts Festival, bringing six screenings to the drive-in, along with a screening at the DeLUXE Theater and a couple of virtual offerings. The screenings are going for $30 per carload, or, if you have a cool $120, throw it down for a festival pass, which includes everyone in your car for all the films (and it will get you a single ticket into the DeLUXE on January 31 to see Miss Juneteenth as well). And, yeah, there will be loads of snacks for purchase from food trucks and neighborhood eateries on-site, including Gulf Coast Distillers, Mingo’s Kitchen, Las Brasas Tacos, and Fork and Skewers (and there're portable restrooms).
January 28, 7:30 p.m.
Director and Screenwriter: Siân Heder // Producers: Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger
As a CODA–Child of Deaf Adults–Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents. Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin.
I Was a Simple Man
January 29, 7:30 p.m.
Director and Screenwriter: Christopher Makoto Yogi // Producers: Sarah S. Kim, Christopher Makoto Yogi, Matthew Petock, Yamato Cibulka
As a family in Hawai'i faces the imminent death of their eldest member, the ghosts of the past haunt the countryside. Cast: Steve Iwamoto, Constance Wu, Kanoa Goo, Chanel Akiko Hirai, Tim Chiou, Boonyanudh Jiyarom.
January 30, 7:30 p.m. (tickets are sold out; full fest passes still available, though)
Director and Screenwriter: Rebecca Hall // Producers: Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Margot Hand, Rebecca Hall
Two African American women who can "pass" as white choose to live on opposite sides of the color line in 1929 New York in an exploration of racial and gender identity, performance, obsession, and repression. Based on the novella by Nella Larsen. Cast: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland, Alexander Skarsgård, Bill Camp.
January 31, 7:30 p.m.
Director and Screenwriter: Karen Cinorre // Producers: Jonah Disend, Lucas Joaquin, Karen Cinorre, Sam Levy
Ana is transported to a dreamlike and dangerous land where she joins an army of girls engaged in a never-ending war along a rugged coast. Though she finds strength in this exhilarating world, she comes to realize that she's not the killer they want her to be. Cast: Grace Van Patten, Mia Goth, Havana Rose Liu, Soko, Théodore Pellerin, Juliette Lewis.
Judas and The Black Messiah
February 1, 8 p.m.
Director: Shaka King, Screenwriters: Will Berson, Shaka King, Producers: Ryan Coogler, Charles D. King, Shaka King
FBI informant William O’Neal infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther party when J. Edgar Hoover fears charismatic leader Chairman Fred Hampton will emerge as a Black Messiah. O’Neal lives in fear of discovery and cannot escape the deadly trajectory of his betrayal. Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Lil Rel Howery, Martin Sheen.
Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir
February 2, 7:30 p.m.
Director: James Redford // Producers: Karen Pritzker, Cassandra Jabola
Amy Tan has established herself as one of America's most respected literary voices. It would be decades before the author of The Joy Luck Club, born to Chinese immigrant parents, would fully understand the inherited trauma rooted in the legacies of women who survived the Chinese tradition of concubinage.