Mary J. Blige, Rufus Wainwright and Prominent Composers Join Sundance Festival’s Film Music House Series


Mary J. Blige, Rufus Wainwright and Prominent Composers Join Sundance Festival’s Film Music House Series

The Sundance Film Festival’s 2021 virtual Main Street will play host to a series of conversations about music and the movies, hosted by first-time festival partner Film Music House, with Mary J. Blige, Rufus Wainwright and Colin Stetson (pictured above) among those taking part in the streamed chats Jan. 28 through Feb. 3.

Blige will join Nova Wav and DJ Camper in a conversation on songwriting for films. Wainwright will participate in a panel on the music of the film “Rebel Hearts” with veteran music supervisor Tracy McKnight and Ariel Marx. A panel about music auteurs will feature Stetson as well as Bryce Dessner of the National and Alex Somers.

The confab’s keynote conversations will spotlight Mychael Danna, Jeff Beal, Dan Romer, Miriam Cuter and Rob Simonsen.

The full lineup of names and times for Film Music House programs can be found on Sundance’s Village site, here.

Other programs include composers Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann and director Francis Lee talking about the music of “Ammonite”; composer Tamar-kali and director Josephine Decker on the score for “Shirley”; and Joseph Trapanese in discussion about “Tron: Legacy” 10 years on. Filmmakers Francis Lee and Josephine Decker are also on board for discussions, as are Marius De Vries, “Minari” composer Emile Mosseri, Jongnic Bontemps, Uno Helmersson, T. Griffin and Nathan Halpern.

A “Scoring for the Small Screen” panel will look at the music for “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Lovecraft Country.” Composer Jay Wadley will lead a half-hour concert of music from Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.” A half-hour performance by Wendy and Lisa will also be featured Jan. 31.

Those who represent composers will gather on a panel featuring manager Tim Husom (Redbird Music), talent agent Alexander Vangelos (First Artists Management), talent agent Sarah Kovacs (Kraft-Engel Management) and talent agent Jake Kozarec (Fortress Talent Management).

“We are excited to amplify the importance of film music at this year’s Sundance Film Festival,” Film Music House programmer Thomas Mikusz said in a statement. “We have been attending Sundance and other major festivals over the past decade and have seen more and more creatives interested in film music and have recognized their yearning to hear more from the people that create music, their process, inspirations and also about their communication tools with filmmakers. We are especially happy to partner with the Alliance for Women Film Composers this year on several panels, highlighting the work of women composers at Sundance.”

WhiteBearPR’s Chandler Poling collaborated with Mikusz in curating and producing the series. “We would like to extend our gratitude to Sundance Institute and its director of film music, Peter Golub, who have always been strong supporters and mentors for young composers… We hope audiences around the world will enjoy.”

Also falling under the Film Music House umbrella at this year’s virtual festival will be networking events, a listening lounge with music from indie films and even “dance parties.”

The full lineup of extracurricular events at this year’s Sundance can be found at


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