The Sundance Film Festival announced today that it will hold a series of panels titled the "Art of Film Weekend" which will take place Jan. 29-31. This new initiative should create more buzz worthy moments during a period when the Festival is traditionally winding down. The slate will kick off with a conversation between Festival founder Robert Redford and George Lucas that will be streamed online at

In a release, Festival Director John Cooper noted, "Exploring cinema, body and soul, Art of Film Weekend will take aspiring filmmakers and film-loving audiences behind the scenes to see the creative, collaborative spirit of artists at every stage of the independent filmmaking process that is so core to our Festival."

A full rundown of the panels are as follows:

Power of Story: Visions of Independence — Kicking off Art of Film Weekend, join Robert Redford and George Lucas—two iconic filmmakers who epitomize the spirit of independence in American cinema—in conversation with critic Leonard Maltin. Distinctive as storytellers, their pioneering visions have also yielded innovative enterprises and institutions that cultivate creativity and imagination, advance technology, and push the realm of possibility. This will be live streamed on

Art of the Score: A Performance and Discussion with Harry Gregson-Williams — We explore the artists’ approach to film music with renowned composer Harry Gregson-Williams (the Shrek series, The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Town, Man on Fire, Kingdom of Heaven, Spy Game and Blackhat), who shares his creative process from that first spark of a musical conception through the delivery of a final score. With film excerpts and a live performance, including electric violinist Hugh Marsh, we explore the indispensable role music plays in cinema.

A New Language in Filmmaking: Virtual Reality — Over a century has passed since the advent of film, allowing filmmakers to continuously hone, craft, and form the language of cinema, as well as pass those teachings on to a new crop of filmmakers. Virtual reality, on the other hand, has only recently emerged, and with it, a completely new language and approach to storytelling. Learn from the top directors working in this medium as they take you through their journey of failure and success in virtual reality storytelling. Join Chris Milk (director, An Evolution of Verse, Sound and Vision, Wilderness Downtown), Rose Troche (director, Perspective, The L Word), Saschka Unseld (director, The Blue Umbrella, story consultant to Oculus), and Glen Keane (animator, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Duet).

Design Inspiration — Where does the visual design of a film begin, and how does it contribute to the overall art of cinematic storytelling? Through an illuminating conversation that integrates handpicked visual and filmic references, discover the creative processes of three talented individuals (and frequent collaborators of Spike Jonze) known for their stunning artistic sensibilities: cinematographer Lance Acord (God’s Pocket, Where the Wild Things Are, Lost in Translation); production designer K.K. Barrett (Her, Human Nature, Marie Antoinette, Being John Malkovich); and costume designer Casey Storm (Her, Where the Wild Things Are, Adaptation).

Cutting Class: An Editor’s Guide to Storytelling — Spend an unforgettable afternoon with award-winning editor Sarah Flack (The Limey, Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette) as she leads an in-depth session about her editing process, examining everything from the construction and evolution of scenes to the nuances of storytelling from an editor’s perspective. Flack will shed light on the unique relationship between director and editor, referencing her collaborations with Sofia Coppola, Sam Mendes, and Steven Soderbergh.

The Doc Art Mix Tape — Perhaps more than any other cinema form, documentary is all too often discussed more in terms of content rather than its craft. But through its artful construction, distinctive storytelling styles, memorable characters, and groundbreaking aesthetics, non-fiction film has given us remarkable and lasting cinematic moments. Join us for a personal journey through documentary guided by Sam Green (The Weather Underground, Utopia in Four Movements) and Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March, Time Indefinite, Bright Leaves), who unearth the rare and special moments that illustrate the remarkable range of the form.

For more information on the panels and to buy tickets, visit

With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.