Arts & Entertainment
Michigan Theater and Sundance Institute announce exclusive film series
Compiled by Donald V. Calamia
Originally printed 5/11/2006 (Issue 1419 - Between The Lines News)
ANN ARBOR - The Michigan Theater and Sundance Institute announce the Michigan Theater's participation in The Sundance Institute Art House Project, a new national initiative that pairs Sundance Institute with 14 art house cinemas across the country. Each art house will screen films from past Sundance Film Festivals as part of the Institute's 25th anniversary celebration in 2006.
Beginning on May 19, the Michigan Theater will showcase 25 recent and classic films from the Sundance Film Festival, a core program of Sundance Institute. The Michigan Theater has added three films with Michigan ties, "The Upside of Anger," "Purple Rose of Cairo" and "Roger and Me," to its series.
The Michigan Theater is the only venue in the region selected to offer the series. In addition to the Michigan Theater, cinemas in cities ranging from Boulder and Nashville to Hilo, Hawaii are participating in the program.
"For 25 years, Sundance has been committed to building audiences for independent film. In so many ways, these theatres are the unsung heroes of independent film," said John Cooper, director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival. "In looking for participating theatres, we were careful to invite cinemas with a good curatorial sense and a strong existing program. We're excited to be collaborating with the Michigan Theater and the other 13 cinemas to bring new work and classics in independent film to their communities."
"Crumb," directed by Terry Zwigoff, kicks off the series on May 19. Screenings will take place weekly through early November. "Gas, Food, Lodging," "Purple Rose of Cairo," "Poison" and "Hoop Dreams" make up the first weeks of the series. Other films range from "Paris is Burning" to "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." "Tarnation," another film in the series, was a winner in the 2005 Ann Arbor Film Festival.
Last January, Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins joined representatives from each of the participating theatres at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival in January in Park City, Utah for the official launch of the initiative. As a guest of the Festival, Collins attended Festival screenings of American independent and international films and took part in a panel discussion on "The Culture of Moviegoing."
"It was a great honor for the Michigan Theater to be selected as an Art House Project theater," Collins said recently. "The passionate voices of independent filmmakers are vital to our society and culture. The Sundance Institute and its Film Festival have nurtured the growth of these vital voices for the last 25 years. An important third leg of this essential cultural tripod is the community-based mission-driven film theaters. Theaters like the Michigan and the other Art House Project theaters provide passionate local forums for independent filmmakers and promote appreciation of film culture throughout the country."
Tickets will be available in several series packages or individually, in advance or the night of the show at the box office. A Series Pass Booklet is available for $125 for Michigan Theater members, $150 non-members. For less committed filmgoers, an 8-pack of tickets will allow them to create their own series: $42 members, $56 non-members until May 19. Regular 8-pack prices ($46 members, $60 non-members) will apply after May 19. Advance tickets may be used for any of the films in the series and are transferable. Subscribers will also be invited to a special reception on Opening Night, Friday, May 19.
Single tickets for any film screening are available only at the box office 30 minutes prior to each screening. Regular prices apply ($8.50, $6.75 students and seniors, $6.00 members).
Package tickets are currently available by phone at 734-668-8397 ext. 29 or at the Guest Services Desk in the lobby of the Michigan Theater nightly after 6:30 pm. For a complete list of films and screening dates, please visit http://www.michtheater.org/sundance.