A shocker announcement greeted us today courtesy of Slamdance, the lower-tier Park City festival, and Sundance rival, announced that not only will Steven Soderbergh be there to accept the annual Slamdance 2019 Founders Award, but will also world premiere his next movie “High Flying Bird.”
The film was written by "Moonlight" Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney and stars André Holland as an NBA agent who tries to get his young client to sign a controversial business opportunity during a players strike and league shutdown. Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan, and Bill Duke.
The film had originally been rumored to appear at Sundance, but it looks like Slamdance won a rare battle for a premiere. Hopefully Soderbergh's sports drama can cause a domino-effect of high-profile premieres for Slamdance because God knows they need it.
It does happen that Slamdance films will go on to make a dent theatrically: The 2005 doc "Mad Hot Ballroom," 2007's "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Dollars," and in 2008 "Paranormal Activity" premiered there, which would go on to be a massive moneymaking success at the box-office. I can't think of any other exceptions.
“High Flying Bird” will be released on Friday, February 8, 2019 on Netflix.
Slamdance happens on January 25 – January 31 in Park City.