Next Fest Is Sundance’s Hip, Cool Cousin

Sundance is synonymous with promoting renegade indie artists so it’s no surprise that the long-running film festival’s quirky cousin, Next Fest, would venture into the music world to promote new voices. Now, in its fourth year, the weekend-long, multi-media festival (Aug. 12-14) at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, pairs independent films with music acts that share a complementary artistic sensibility (think a fine wine with a gourmet cheese).

This year, they’ve added to the creative conversation by including music videos by Mark Pritchard (“Beautiful People”), Neon Indian (“Annie”), and Blood Orange (“Best to You”) to the full slate of movie premieres, a short film festival MC’d by Nick Kroll, filmmaking workshops, virtual reality “experiences” and a youth talent show hosted by Craig Robinson

In addition, out of this world electronic producer Flying Lotus‘ directorial debut, the short film Royal, will screen Sunday (word is he might DJ afterward) and each day will include live musical performances by Shamir (Fri), Sunflower Bean (Sat) and Big Freedia (Sun). 

Next Fest takes place August 12-14 at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel. Tickets ($15-25) are on sale NOW (right here).

Here’s a Next Fest trailer and a playlist of the songs whose music videos will premiere. Check the schedule for exact time/date of showings. 

“Beautiful People” by Mark Pritchard

The hauntingly beautiful track featuring vocals by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, screens just before Sunday’s afternoon screening of Iranian horror film Under the Shadow. Michal Marczak, who won the 2016 Sundance Film Festival award for World Cinema Documentary, helms the music video about a nameless stranger’s exploration of a new world.

“Annie” by Neon Indian

The neon-lit electro pop song is a perfect opener to the LA premiere of festival favorite “White Girl.”

“Best To You” by Blood Orange

Devonte Hynes aka Blood Orange personifies the Sundance indie spirit. His music video for the latest single off his excellent new album, Freetown Sound, has a cast as diverse as his genre-bending music, featuring Lorely Rodriguez (a.k.a Empress Of, who sings on the track) and “it” girl Amandla Stenberg (Rue from The Hunger Games).