Boots Riley

Writer/director/producer/musician/activist Boots Riley, an alumni of both the Sundance Labs and Film Festival, will be honored with the Sundance Institute’s annual Vanguard Award at its summer fundraiserSundance Institute At Sundown, on June 14, 2018 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, just before the Los Angeles debut of his new film, Sorry to Bother You. Proceeds from the evening will help advance Sundance Institute’s mission and programs that discover, support and amplify risk-taking and exciting independent artists in film, theatre and new media.

Sorry to Bother You, which had its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, is a genre-defying work, taking place in a modern day alternate reality version of Oakland, CA where telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre new universe. The film, starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer and Omari Hardwick was produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Charles King, George Rush, Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams, and will be released in theatres by Annapurna Pictures on July 6, 2018.

“Sorry to Bother You exemplifies Boots’ uncompromising and fearless independent vision,” said Michelle Satter, Founding Director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program. “When he was a Fellow at our 2015 Directors Lab, his official bio noted that he had never won an award for artistic achievement, and we’re so pleased to change that with this celebration.”

Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award honors artists whose work and vision represents the highest, most breakthrough level of innovation, originality, and independent spirit that the Institute’s FFP program under Satter’s leadership has fostered in artists over its 30-year history. Past Vanguard Award recipients include Alejandro Gonzàlez Iñàrritu, Roger Ebert, Glenn Close, Dee Rees and Quentin Tarantino.

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