The Speed Art Museum Welcomes Sundance Film Festival

View the world premieres of up to 12 different films


By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos courtesy of Sundance Institute


Have you ever wanted to watch the films, see all the celebrities present and attend the Sundance Film Festival? Well, it’s your lucky year. You might not be able to see the celebrities and go to the actual event, but you can watch the films from the comfort of your own home or, for an elevated experience, view them at the Speed Art Museum from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. At home, you’ll be able to view more than 70 films and 50 shorts from the festival. To learn more about watching from your home, click here. This is the first time Sundance is offering global access for audiences, so make sure you don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!

“We’re thrilled that the Speed Cinema at the Speed Art Museum has been chosen to be one of the Satellite Screens for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival,” said Dean Otto, Curator of Film at the Speed Art Museum. “It brings national recognition to the Speed Cinema and we can’t wait to present world premieres of documentaries, international cinema and future blockbusters here in Louisville.”

A still from In The Same Breath by Nanfu Wang, an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

The Speed Museum is one of only two museums selected to be an official satellite location for the Sundance Film Festival. The Speed will be screening up to 12 films in both the Speed Cinema and the Grand Hall to allow for proper social distancing, according to the press release.“I’m most excited to see ‘Judith and the Black Messiah’ for sure. That was a big surprise. We had initially announced our slate of 12 films, and then Sundance came to us with this opportunity to be part of the world premiere of that film too. It’s directed by Shaka King who also produced ‘Black Panther.’ It’s one of the most highly anticipated films of this year. We’re thrilled to have that film here and to have Sundance and the participating media who produced this film reach out and say we really want to have this film play here in Louisville,” said Otto.

Tickets have been on sale since Jan. 7 and will remain on sale until Feb. 3, the last night of the festival; films will show from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. Tickets are $25 unless noted otherwise, and you can find the schedule on the Speed’s website here. “The only showing that has a different price is opening night. The opening night program is something that we’re doing specially with Rabbit Hole Distillery who’s a sponsor of this program. They’re offering a whiskey tasting and they’ll also have one of their photographers taking photos and emailing photos from the evening back to the guests. The people who attend will receive a Rabbit Hole and Speed Cinema gift bag at the end of the night,” explained Otto. Members of the Speed Museum will receive a one-time $5 discount code by email, according to the Speed website.

Renata de Lélis appears in The Pink Cloud by Iuli Gerbase, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Masks are required, no food or drink will be allowed in either viewing space, and each theater will be filled to only 33% capacity. According to Otto, they’ll be able to accommodate about 100 people at every screening, so purchase your tickets before they’re sold out! “We can only screen everything once because everything that we screen is going to be a premiere. The premieres are all timed to happen at the same time all throughout the country,” said Otto. “When something plays at 6 p.m. out in California we play it at 9 p.m. here; that’s why we have so many later evening screenings that we would normally do earlier.”

Clifton Collins Jr. appears in Jockey by Clint Bently, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Adolpho Veloso.

Director Amalia Ulman will be at the Speed Art Museum to introduce her film, “El Planeta,” on its premiere date Jan. 30 for the 6 p.m. premiere. Otto had the pleasure of interviewing the stars, director, and producer of “Jockey,” and the interview will show exclusively at the Speed after the film’s premiere screening. “Those filmmakers especially wanted that film to be played here because it’s dealing with horse racing jockeys. Given that we’re so close to Churchill Downs and the director’s grandparents grew up on a farm right outside Louisville, it was really important for them to have the film played here,” Otto explained. Get your tickets soon because you won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to see the premiere of some of Sundance Film Festival’s films right in our very own city!

Vinamrata Rai appears in Fire in the Mountains by Ajitpal Singh, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Selections from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival
The Speed Art Museum
Jan. 28 – Feb. 3