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Sundance Film Festival 2024 Recap | Day One With Kristen Stewart, Robert Downey Jr Presented by Chase Sapphire

Sundance Scoop - Joana Vicente, Kim Yutani, Eugene Hernandez, Jason Blum
By: LaKisaRenee| Sundance Scoop - Joana Vicente, Kim Yutani, Eugene Hernandez, Jason Blum| Photo by Anjelica Jardie

2024 Sundance Film Festival, the 40th Edition, completed the first day of programming on January 18, those featured include Kristen Stewart, Pedro Pascal, Christopher Nolan, Robert Downey Jr., Normani and more! 


Key events were Sundance Scoop, a conversation with Sundance leadership moderated by Jason Blum to kick off the Festival, and Opening Night Gala: Celebrating 40 Years Presented by Chase Sapphire®, the annual gala enables the nonprofit to raise critical funds to support independent artists year-round and recognizes those committed to independent film in addition to a slate of incredible premieres and events. 




  • A conversation and Q&A from Filmmaker Lodge kicked off the 2024 Sundance Film Festival with:

  • Joana Vicente // Sundance Institute CEO

  • Eugene Hernandez // Director of the Sundance Film Festival and head of public programming

  • Kim Yutani // Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming

  • Moderated by Jason Blum (CEO & Founder, Blumhouse and Sundance Institute Board of Trustees) 

Notable Quotes: 

  • “Sundance is a vital, vital part of the entertainment ecosystem, and I think it’s undervalued in that way. Without Sundance, the United States would not be where it is in entertainment, and I really think not enough people make that connection.” - Jason Blum 

  • “Sundance is always a place of renewal. It’s always a place of discovery. The films are so compelling, and we are very hopeful that they will find a way to connect with audiences.” - Joana Vicente

  • “We have assembled a program that includes movies that deserve to find their audience. These filmmakers are ready, these films are ready for their audience. In doing my own reporting the last few weeks talking to different buyers and sellers checking in about how things look, I hear an enthusiasm. We have a slate that is ready to meet its audience and the industry.” - Eugene Hernandez

  • “It was just an incredible experience to feel the energy from the audience, and that is what reminds me of what Sundance is, what we do so well and what we will always do.” - Kim Yutani on a showing at the Eccles of John Carney’s Flora and Son


Footage credit: @Sundanceorg


  • Opening Night: Opening Night Gala: Celebrating 40 Years Presented by Chase Sapphire® took place this evening at the DeJoria Center in Utah. The annual Opening Night Gala enables the nonprofit to raise critical funds to support independent artists year-round through labs, grants, and public programming that nurture artists globally. 

  • Honorees and presenters included:

    • Christopher Nolan - Inaugural Sundance Institute Trailblazer Award 

    • Presented by Robert Downey Jr. 

    • Kristen Stewart - Visionary Award

    • Presented by Jesse Eisenberg 

    • Pat Mitchell - Vanguard Award for Philanthropy

    • Presented by Mary Robinson 

    • Celine Song (Vanguard Award for Fiction) 

    • Presented by Christine Vachon

    • Maite Alberdi (Vanguard Award for Nonfiction) 

    • Presented by Jodie Foster

  • Darren Aronofsky, Jennifer Grey, David Alan Grier, Rory Kennedy, Lio Mehiel, Alok Vaid-Menon, Danny Ramirez, Roger Ross Wiliams 



The Sundance Film Festival is the ultimate gathering of original storytellers and audiences seeking new voices and fresh perspectives. The annual program includes dramatic and documentary features, short films, and episodic content. The festival also hosts daily filmmaker conversations, panel discussions, and other events. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gone on to gain critical acclaim and reach new audiences worldwide.

AUDIBLE x SUNDANCE 2024 Jodie Foster, Riley Keough, Pedro Pascal, Normani, Lucy Liu, Kieran Culkin, Jesse Eisenberg & More Are At The Variety Interview Studio Presented By Audible.

On Friday January 19th, Jodie Foster, Riley Keough, Pedro Pascal, Normani, Kieran Culkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Jena Malone, Jay Ellis, more stopped by the Variety Interview Studio, presented by Audible, sharing creative insights and details on their upcoming projects, including:

  • Jodie Foster, EP of Alok, on finding the power in your voice and how words touch and connect people

  • Pedro Pascal discussed immersing himself in the film’s setting of Oakland, CA and attempting an Oakland accent for his role in Freaky Tales

  • Riley Keough teased her new project Sasquatch Sunset and talked about transforming into Bigfoot for the film

  • Jesse Eisenberg and Kieran Culkin chatted about playing cousins in Jesse’s film A Real Pain and why personal stories resonate with audiences

The Audible Listening Lodge is again open to the public during Sundance Film Festival:

WHEN: Saturday, January 20: 12:00PM – 6:00PM & Sunday, January 21: 11:00AM – 4:00PM

WHERE: Kimball Terrace, 675 Main Street, Park City

WHAT: Stop by to relax around the fireplace and enjoy free hot and cold beverages, light bites, and s’mores (while supplies last), on the outdoor patio, featuring a heated yurt. Cozy up and listen to a selection of Audible’s of premium podcasts, audiobooks and Originals in beautifully designed listening gondolas.

The Audible Listening Lodge will also host a “Variety x Audible Cocktails & Conversations” panel on Sunday, January 21st 2024. 


Sunday, January 21, 5:30-8:00pm 

Panel Discussion: Breaking Down Genres

An exploration of the importance of creative freedom in storytelling, across different mediums of entertainment. Actors, writers, directors and producers will gather to discuss their experiences defying expectations and challenging genre norms for greater expression and innovation, opening new doors for creativity and the future of storytelling. Featuring “Rob Peace” director, writer and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Parish” EP and star Giancarlo Esposito, “Winner” director, writer and producer Susanna Fogel, Audible Head of Creative Development, North America Kate Navin and author, poet, comedian & public speaker Alok Vaid-Menon.

Moderator: Angelique Jackson, Senior Entertainment Writer for Variety


Engage: How To Participate Online?


Join the 2024 Sundance Film Festival to celebrate independent storytelling. Films will become available online across the country for your audiences to view beginning January 25, 2024, visit In-person and online Single Film Tickets are available for purchase until January 28, 2024 at


The Festival will take place January 18–28, 2024, in person in Park City and Salt Lake City, with a selection of titles available online nationwide from January 25–28, 2024. Tickets can be purchased at 

About| Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival, a program of the nonprofit Sundance Institute, is the preeminent gathering of original storytellers and audiences seeking new voices and fresh perspectives. Be a part of the Festival at and follow the Festival on Facebook, InstagramTikTokX (formerly Twitter), and YouTube #Sundance




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