Lulu Wang’s Park City comedy-drama The Farewell has picked up the top prize at UK spin-off festival Sundance London.
Wang’s feature, starring Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong and Jiang Yongbo, scored the Audience Favourite Award after getting its European premiere at the festival. The film was previously picked up by A24 out of Sundance in a deal pegged at close to $6M for worldwide rights excluding China.
In the well-received sophomore film, headstrong Chinese-American woman Billi returns to China when her beloved grandmother is given a terminal diagnosis. Billi struggles with her family’s decision to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness as they all stage an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time.
Sundance Film Festival: London took place from 30 May – 2 June at Picturehouse Central, presenting 12 feature films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S. alongside two short film programmes and four special events. The festival opened with the UK gala of Late Night by Nisha Ganatra, and it closed last night with the UK premiere of Penny Lane’s Hail Satan?
More than 40 filmmakers and actors attended the festival to introduce their films and participate in audience Q&As, including Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat for Time Out Gala film Animals; Sam Claflin for Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale; and the cast of Shola Amoo’s The Last Tree.
This year, the event welcomed its first writer-in-residence, poet Be Manzini, who created and shared poetic responses to a selection of films online and through live readings during the festival.
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