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As Sundance Film Festival prepares to kick off this weekend, stars, celebrities, artists, and filmmakers are descending upon snowy Park City to showcase some of this year’s most highly-anticipated films, works of art, and special events.

At the heart of the festival is the iconic Blackhouse, put on by The Blackhouse Foundation, an organization that was created as a platform to, educate, inspire, and support black creative voices and executives. This year, the Blackhouse will be hosting some of this year’s hottest events, panels, and discussions and serve as a meeting place for seasoned and up-and-coming artists and executives to foster conversation and collaboration across film, television, digital and emerging platforms.

This year, the Blackhouse’s event lineup will represent some of Sundance’s main themes this year, namely the intersection of technology, music, film, culture, and representation of women and minorities in film.

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In a year when social media influence, facial recognition software, and virtual reality are hot topics as evidenced in Sundance features such as the New Frontiers exhibit and films such as Coded Bias and The Social Dilemma, and more.

On Friday, the Blackhouse and Facebook will be holding a deep dive conversation with the directors behind a selection of Sundance’s hottest short films. We will reflect on the stories behind their buzzed-about films and their paths to Sundance. In keeping with the goal of elevating those who are next, we will discuss where their careers are headed next and how they are using the most dynamic and innovative platforms to advance their creativity and art.

The Blackhouse and HBO will also host, Issa Rae and Prentice Penny, who will have a candid conversation about all things Insecure (just In time for season four). This will be moderated by Bevy Smith on Saturday. On Saturday, Paramount Pictures and the Blackhouse will also host a celebration of African Diaspora at Sundance by “binging the rich cultural tapestry from the dazzling lights of France, the majesty of Tanzania, the triumph of South Africa and everywhere in between” and “toasting films from around the globe and find the commonality that weaves the creative expression of cinema for all of us.”

On Sunday, Blackhouse and Universal Pictures will host a Conversation Stella Meghie,  director of the upcoming release The Photograph starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield. 

In keeping with the spirit of technology, the Blackhouse also has a free app available for download from the Apple app store that festival-goers can use to keep up with events and share their festival photos and feedback!