The Sundance Film Festival is giving creators of web and TV content their own showcase. The prestigious film festival, which will begin its next program on January 18 in Park City, Utah, has revealed the feature films it will screen for attendees. As part of that announcement, it has unveiled a new category called Indie Episodic, which will consist of work from the TV and web series media.
The filmmakers featured in the inaugural Indie Episodic lineup include several who got their start on YouTube. Franchesca Ramsey, the woman behind the Chescaleigh channel, will lead a project called Franchesca, and the enigmatic Poppy character will be at the center of I’m Poppy. They’ll be joined by notables like Bo Burnham and Ethan Hawke, as well as a few other creators we’ve noted in the past.
The goal of the Indie Episodic category, according to Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth, is to help these serialized projects find partners. “We started this section based on the success we had last year on showing independently produced episodic work that came into the festival looking for distribution, and having a lot of that work get acquired by different platforms and different companies,” Groth said. “We felt we could play a role in that form in the way we did for film in the late ’80s through the ’90s, and seeing the film industry grow up around Sundance. I think we can help play a similar role for episodic work as well.”
Sundance is not the first film festival to feature episodic projects in their own section of the program. In 2016, the Tribeca Film Festival experiments with a Digital Marketplace that featured creators like Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and the Fine Bros.
The Indie Episodic projects will screen at Sundance between January 22-24, in the middle of the film festival’s 11-day program. A more exact schedule will become available in “mid-December.” In the meantime, you can read blurbs about the members of the 2018 Indie Episode class via the Sundance website.