Sundance 2019: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez In The House & ‘Boomerang’ Preview

By Dominic Patten, Amanda N'Duka

EXCLUSIVE: The Lena Waithe and Halle Berry executive produced Boomerang recharge doesn’t debut until February, but Sundance Film Festival attendees are going to get a world premiere preview of the BET series in just over a week.

In addition, leaving the likely still ongoing government shutdown behind for the snow of Utah, new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be bringing some of her much-analyzed moves to the festival too. A SFF juror last year, Jada Pinkett-Smith is returning to Sundance as well for what is described as a fireside chat by the host of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk at MACRO founder and CEO Charles D. King’ Main Street lodge.

Back for a second year at the Robert Redford-founded Park City-based bash, the MACRO locale will be screening at least one episode of the Tequan Richmond and Tetona Jackson led Boomerang on January 26, nearly three weeks before its official February 12 debut on the small screen. That preview will be followed by a panel with The Chi creator Waithe, showrunner Ben Cory Jones and Dime Davis, who directed the pilot of the Paramount TV and BET produced series.

Of course as compelling as Waithe can be, the Emmy winner is only one of a number of marquee names coming to the lodge co-hosted by Stacey Walker King.

Having taken DC and social media by storm since unseating in 10-term Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District last year, Ocasio-Cortez has launched a ‘Where’s Mitch” campaign in recent days with other House newcomers to hold Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accountable for the 27-day long shutdown. In that vein, the congresswoman’s inaugural speech on the near empty floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday centered on the near-crippling shutdown and has already proven C-SPAN’s most-viewed Twitter video ever.

Featured in the Rachel Lears-helmed Sundance U.S Documentary competition film Knock Down the House, Ocasio-Cortez is scheduled to show up for the world premiere afterparty of the pic on January 27 at the invitation only MACRO lodge. Lears and fellow Knock Down the House principals Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin also will be there.

As well as other panels and events at the venue over the opening weekend of the January 24 to February 3 festival,  Red Table Talk host and EP of U.S. Dramatic competition contender HALA Pinkett-Smith will also be in the lodge on the afternoon of January 27 for a chat with yet as unrevealed guests. The winners of the July 2018 launched MACRO Episodic Lab Powered by The Black List will also be announced over the course of the festival too.

As for us, Deadline co-Editor-in-Chief, Film Mike Fleming Jr., Anthony D’Alessandro and ourselves will lead our Sundance coverage with breaking news on the deals, the films, the panels, and the what’s going in Park City and beyond. As well as hosting some panels of our own too, we’ll have our Deadline Studio up and running again as our team speaks to filmmakers about their projects and the festival.

Bundle up.

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