WarnerMedia To Host Virtual Experience at Sundance Film Festival

As a leadership sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival 2021 (January 28 - February 3), WarnerMedia is "transporting" fans to Park City with the Virtual WarnerMedia Lodge. Open to the public, the WarnerMedia Lodge offers an enriching experience for attendees includes nearly 20 hours of our original content (including two HBO Max Originals premiere screenings), over a dozen panels (ten focusing on important topics and initiatives in the D&I space), networking opportunities, chat rooms and more.

To visit the WarnerMedia Lodge starting on January 28, simply visit https://warnermedialodge.com.

In addition, WarnerMedia is screening the following three film titles at this year's event:

  • HBO Doc's "Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street"
  • Warner Bros. Pictures' "Judas and the Black Messiah"
  • HBO Doc's "In the Same Breath"


Who Tells the Story Panel 

As the industry and society at large become more aware of the value that diversity brings to us all, new conversations have sprouted around both access and representation. In this new frontier, cultural competency and responsibility have become interwoven within the creative process itself. Questions that are being raised include when, where and how these objectives can be met. What is the responsibility of both diverse and non-diverse filmmakers when it comes to representing diverse communities? Who has that responsibility and why? Gil Robertson, co-founder & CEO, African American Film Critics Association, will host a conversation with Angel Manuel Soto ("Charm City Kings"), Christina Kim ("Kung Fu"), Mickey Down ("Industry"), Nkechi Okoro Carroll ("All American") and Shaka King ("Judas and the Black Messiah") to discuss these questions and more.

Panelists: Angel Manuel Soto, (He, Him, His), Director, "Charm City Kings;" Christina Kim, (She, Her, Hers), Showrunner / Executive Producer, "Kung Fu;" Mickey Down, (He, Him, His), Co-creator, "Industry;" Nkechi Okoro Carroll, (She, Her, Hers), Showrunner / Executive Producer, "All American;" Shaka King, (He, Him, His), Director, "Judas and the Black Messiah"

Moderator: Gil Robertson, (He, Him, His), Co-Founder / CEO, African American Film Critics Association

ARRAY Crew Panel 

WarnerMedia is a founding partner of ARRAY Crew, award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s new initiative to support systemic changes in the below-the-line hiring practices of the film and television industry. Launching in February, ARRAY Crew aims to connect underrepresented crew members to hiring managers who practice inclusive outreach. Join DuVernay plus Karen Horne (SVP, Equity & Inclusion, WarnerMedia), Tilane Jones (President, ARRAY), Regina Miller (Executive Director, ARRAY Alliance) and Tammy Garnes (Director of Education & Understanding, ARRAY) for a conversation about ARRAY’s game-changing effort to foster more opportunity and inclusion in Hollywood.

Moderator: Karen Horne (SVP, Equity & Inclusion, WarnerMedia),

Panelists: Ava DuVernay, Tilane Jones (President, ARRAY), Regina Miller (Executive Director, ARRAY Alliance) and Tammy Garnes (Director of Education & Understanding, ARRAY)

Creating an Equity Mindset Panel 

WarnerMedia is leading the charge in creating strategies to boost equity and amplify underrepresented voices. Through its signature Equity Mindset for Creative Leaders series and other key workforce and pipeline initiatives, the industry’s top brass are engaging in meaningful conversations on equity, inclusion and culture in an effort to build a safe, supportive and accessible environment for content creators. Join Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max Head of Original Content, along with Karen Horne, Samata Narra and MyKhanh Shelton from WarnerMedia’s Equity & Inclusion leadership team for a powerful dialogue on the state of race in Hollywood and where we go from here.

Panelist: Sarah Aubrey, Karen Horne, Samata Narra and MyKhanh Shelton

HBO Documentary Films: True Stories on Screen

A conversation with HBO Documentary programming executives who discuss the art of documentary storytelling, through a range of diverse voices that illuminate the critical issues of our time. Using the form to engage and entertain, HBO documentaries push global boundaries and tell a dynamic mix of impactful and unforgettable stories.

Nancy Abraham, EVP HBO Documentary and Family Programming
Lisa Heller, EVP HBO Documentary and Family Programming
Sara Rodriguez, SVP HBO Documentary Programming
Tina Nguyen, VP HBO Documentary Programming

Lesli Klainberg, Executive Director, Film at Lincoln Center

Hollywood Black Panel - TCM

As part of our company's 2020 Black History Month celebration, renown film historian Donald Bogle and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz held a conversation on the Warner Bros. Lot where they discussed the history of African Americans in cinema from the silent era to modern day. A recording from this event will be showcased. 

Women Make Film Panel - TCM

Hosted by TCM's Alicia Malone, this will feature a conversation with Women Make Film director Mark Cousins, Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu and director Kirsten Johnson.

"The Inside Story" Debut and Panel - Turner Sports

To celebrate the more than 30-year history of "Inside the NBA," Turner Sports developed "The Inside Story," a four-part documentary that examines the iconic moments of the Sports Emmy Award-winning studio show and its ability to continuously entertain and inform its viewers. Each hour-long episode explores the studio show through the eyes of one of the four personalities (Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal) along with contributions from celebrities, politicians, production crew members and sports media reporters.

Panelists: Documentary Producer Audrey Martin, "Inside the NBA" Executive Producer Tim Kiely and "Inside the NBA" Analysts Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal sit down with Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein to reflect on the evolution of "Inside the NBA" and the creation of the documentary.

"The Arena Show and Panel - Turner Sports

"The Arena" is a new in-depth storytelling franchise developed by Turner Sports and Bleacher Report, created to provide a thought-provoking forum for content on topics that transcend sport and impact our communities on and off the court of play. The show’s format intertwines compelling features with conversation from some of the most popular voices in sports.

Moderator: Tareia Williams of Turner Sports

Panelists: SVP and Creative Director, Drew Watkins, "The Arena" Show Producer Keith Robinson, host Cari Champion and contributor Master Tesfatsion discuss the creation of the show, impactful moments on set, and more. 

"It's a Sin" - HBO Max

The premiere of the first episode of HBO Max's "It's a Sin." Will also include a pre-recorded panel with talent.

"There's No 'I' in Threesome - HBO Max

A content sneak-peek into HBO Max's "There is No 'I' in Threesome" and a pre-recorded conversation with talent will be showcased.

How "Two Sentence Horror Stories" is Reinventing the Horror Genre by Tackling Societal Issues - Stage 13

Season 2 of Stage 13’s critically-acclaimed psychological horror anthology series "Two Sentence Horror Stories" is currently airing on The CW. Featuring a different sub-genre of horror in each episode, the series subverts classic horror tropes by centering everyday people and diverse perspectives, tapping into universal primal fears while tackling provocative social and cultural issues that exist within our modern society. The New York Times has said the series’ “roster of writers, directors, and characters is more diverse than you’ll find in just about any other broadcast-network show.” Our panel of writers, directors and executives will dive into how horror is used to address societal issues such as school shootings, medical neglect, inhumane warehouse conditions and drug addiction. It will also discuss how the series, which began as a short form digital series in 2017, has consistently prioritized diversity in front of and behind the camera and how it continues that tradition as season 3 is currently being written.

How Asian Food and Culture Series "Family Style"  Survived the Pandemic and Came Out Stronger on the Other Side - Stage 13

Stage 13’s digital series "Family Style" explores Asian food and culture, showcasing a diverse array of Asian chefs, celebrities and foodies across multiple generations who share their favorite recipes, traditions and locations representing various Asian backgrounds. COVID-19 halted Season 2 midway through production, but Stage 13 was able to finish production and distribution virtually. Also during the shutdown, they created #stage13supports, an award-winning campaign to promote Asian-owned restaurants and small businesses on social media. This panel will touch on various topics including the diversity in front of and behind the camera of this unique franchise, how the producers responded to COVID-19 and completed the series virtually and the impact of its #stage13supports campaign.

100 Episodes of "RWBY" - Rooster Teeth

In late 2012, a new fandom was born. With the premiere of the infamous Red trailer, "RWBY" exploded onto the internet and four new animated heroes (Ruby, Weiss, Black and Yang) became instant icons. Fueled by passionate creators who bonded over video games and anime, "RWBY" propelled a new wave of independent animation at a time when online video was growing at an exponential rate. Following the viral success of "Red vs. Blue," Rooster Teeth bootstrapped to produce its next series. Utilizing burgeoning technology and assembling a talented team in Austin, Texas, this entertainment company bet big on a new genre and an extraordinary creator. "RWBY" quickly found a global audience, becoming the first American-made anime to be distributed in Japan. On the precipice of its 100th episode, "RWBY" showrunner Kerry Shawcross, writer Miles Luna, voice actresses Lindsay Jones and Barbara Dunkelman are joined by Rooster Teeth co-founder Matt Hullum and Animation Co-Head Joe Clary for this panel moderated by The Verge reporter Julia Alexander



HBO Max will also be hosting Our Stories to Tell, a multi-day, virtual experience with various invite-only and public events to empower and celebrate the streamer’s commitment to African American, Asian American, LGBTQ+ and Latinx audiences during the first weekend of the Sundance Film Festival, beginning Friday, January 29th through Sunday, January 31st.  Learn more here and register at OurStoriesToTell.com.

A breakdown of events scheduled to take place along with programming details and talent expected to attend/participate is provided below. **Please Note: Scheduled programming and talent are subject to change.**

Thursday, Jan. 28

7-9 PM EST / Here's To Us
Candid, invite-only conversations with creatives who are pushing the boundaries across various disciplines, hosted by Hot 97 radio personality Laura Stylez.

Friday, Jan. 29

2-3 PM EST / Living Out Loud, Here and Everywhere
We’re Here stars Eureka, Shangela and Bob the Drag Queen get real about their respective journeys, from coming into their own to building confidence.

3-5 PM EST / The Craft Office Hours in Partnership with CCNYC
Breakout mentorship sessions with Chilean novelist and icon Isabel Allende, producer Tiffany Chung, HBO documentary executive Sara Rodriguez, screenwriter Kristin Tucker (A Black Lady Sketch Show), TV/film writer and performer Shenovia Large, writer Kindsey Young, Emmy-winning filmmaker Rudy Valdez (The Sentence) and director Leticia Dolera (Perfect Life).

5-6 PM EST / Illuminating Black Art
Henry Louis Gates Jr., executive producer of the upcoming HBO documentary Black Art: The Absence of Light, in conversation with the doc's director, Sam Pollard, about the impact of Black artists on the art world. Moderated by Thelma Golden, chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem.

6-7 PM EST / Breaking Down Judas and the Black Messiah
Fred Hampton Jr., actress Dominique Fishback and costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones will discuss the making of the Warner Bros. movie about Hampton's father, the leader of the Black Panther Party. Moderated by multimedia creative and journalist Brandon Jinx.

9-11 PM EST / HERstory
The virtual party will feature multiple storytellers from different disciplines.

Saturday, Jan. 30

2-3:30 PM EST / HBO POV Presents: Masters in Craft featuring A Black Lady Sketch Show
A panel featuring some of the masterminds behind the sketch comedy series. Following the discussion, attendees will be able to have more intimate conversations in smaller breakout groups with talent including Shenovia Large, Kristin Tucker, Holly Walker and Kindsey Young.

3-5 PM EST / The Craft Office Hours in Partnership with CCNYC
Breakout mentorship sessions with award-winning Mexican-American writer-director and 2020 HBO Directing Fellow Emil Gallardo (1,2,3 All Eyes On Me), director Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings), costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones (Judas and the Black Messiah), writer Holly Walker (A Black Lady Sketch Show), and director Diana Peralta (De Lo Mio).

4-5 PM EST / Animation, But Make it Black
A conversation on the importance of representation and inclusion in animation, featuring Adult Swim's Loulou João and Alda Boyd and Black Women Animate founder and CEO Taylor Shaw. Moderated by Blerdcon creator Hilton George.

5-6 PM EST / HBO APA Visionaries - Taking the Lead
Jamie Chung (Lovecraft Country), Alexander Hodge (Insecure) and Leonardo Nam (Westworld) participate in a conversation exploring the impact and pride that Asian American talent can claim in learning to own their narratives. Moderated by The Hollywood Reporter senior editor Rebecca Sun.

6-7 PM EST / Masterclass: Pushing The Boundaries of Writing To Go Pa'lante!
Leticia Dolera, creator, writer and star of the new HBO Max series Perfect Life, hosts a masterclass on her process of making a specific-yet-relatable international series, from conception to reality.

7-7:45 PM EST / Fireside Charla with Isabel Allende
Allende dives into her career and upcoming HBO Max three-part series, Isabel. Moderated by Emmy-nominated television personality and journalist Liz Hernandez.

Sunday, Jan. 31

1 PM EST / Mentally, We’re Here
Attendees can choose from one of three sessions to help them set intentions for the remainder of the year:

  • Session 1: A guided meditation and yoga with Lauren Ash, founder of Black Girl in Om.
  • Session 2: Breathwork and movement with Jacqui Whang, well-being curator and founder of
  • Session 3: Breathwork and chanting led by Afro-Dominican wellness instructors from
    Brujas of Brooklyn.