Sundance’s AANHPI-Focused Sunrise House to Feature Fireside Chats with Steven Yeun, Lucy Liu (Exclusive)

Last Sundance was marked by a number of new official cultural affinity “houses” at the festival, and they will all be back.

Sunrise Collective, comprised of Daniel Dae Kim’s production banner 3AD, Gold House and The Asian American Foundation, will again host its Sunrise House for the greater Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, taking over the restaurant Riverhorse on Main Street during Sundance’s opening weekend, Jan. 19 to 21.

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“By creating spaces that cultivate AANHPI artists, we are building strong conduits for our stories to not only be told, but celebrated,” TAAF CEO Norman Chen said in a statement. “This year we are grateful to work with our special advisors, award-winning filmmakers and Sundance alumni Tanya Selvaratnam and Shruti Ganguly, to develop programming that elevates our collective and diverse voices.”

Sunrise House will kick off the morning of Jan. 19 with a tribute to Michael Latt, the social justice advocate and CEO of Lead with Love who was killed in November. He was the son of Sundance Institute founding senior director Michelle Satter. That night, Sunrise Collective will present its second annual Multicultural Dinner with Pop Culture Collaborative, an intersectional gathering with partner Onyx Collective and co-hosts IllumiNative, Latinx House and Macro with reimagined Indian cuisine from Maneesh Goyal’s New York City restaurant Sona.

“Sunrise House was created to provide a safe haven for Asian Pacific artists to take space at Sundance, connect and grow with one another, and – vitally – link with other communities,” Gold House co-founder and CEO Bing Chen said in a statement. “Now, more than ever, shared stories are a gateway to shared opportunities.”

Earlier this month, Gold House announced its multicultural Sundance | One House Filmmakers Fund in support of its mission of allyship with other communities. TAAF’s partnerships with the Sundance Institute include the Sundance | TAAF Fellowship & Collab Scholarship, launched in 2022. Both Asian American nonprofits supported Dìdi (弟弟) from first-time filmmaker Sean Wang, which will premiere in the U.S. dramatic competition this month.

The evening of Jan. 20 will include a sneak preview of Freeform’s Chrissy & Dave Dine Out, featuring a conversation and intimate dinner with hosts Chrissy Teigen, chef David Chang and Joel Kim Booster, followed by the “Snowed In at Sunrise” party (presented by Starz), which the Collective hopes to make an annual festival fete. The weekend will conclude with the 20th edition of the Asian Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City, a tradition that began in 2002 with the pioneering Sundance premiere of Justin Lin’s Better Luck Tomorrow, featuring a talk among APFE co-founder David Magdael, Asian American Media Alliance executive director Milton Liu, and BLT star Sung Kang.

Other programming highlights at Sunrise House this year include Kim’s fireside chats with Steven Yeun and Lucy Liu, a conversation with Sundance 2024 jurors Mira Nair and Shaunak Sen, as well as panels about entertainers as activists, caregiving, and spotlights on the Southeast Asian and NHPI members of the industry. Events from programming partners are a multicultural producers roundtable with Amy Aniobi, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Khaula Malik and Bird Runningwater presented by Google TV, a panel on the business of narrative change presented by Procter & Gamble, a conversation about authentic immigrant storytelling with Define American and an exploration with Asian, Asian American and Arab narrative directors presented by the MacArthur Foundation.

“My partners and I are truly excited to build on the success of last year’s Sunrise Collective and spotlight even more of Sundance’s AANHPI participants,” Kim said in a statement. “Our programming has been carefully curated to introduce innovative ideas and encourage thoughtful discussion, as well as celebrate the increasingly multicultural community convening for this year’s festival.”

The Sunrise Collective is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and United Airlines.

The first weekend of Sundance also will see the returns of the South Asian Lodge and Indigenous House.

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