2024 Sundance Film Festival Gets a Surprise from Wes Anderson

While the Paris, France-based filmmaker was unable to make it all the way to Park City, Utah, in person, Wes Anderson did leave the 2024 Sundance Film Festival with some surprises on its final weekend that IndieWire can announce exclusively.

Fresh off of receiving a Best Live Action Short nomination for “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” the auteur has teamed up with Netflix to host a double feature screening of the Oscar-nominated film alongside his debut short “Bottle Rocket.”

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Taking place at Holiday Village Cinemas on Saturday, January 27 at 8:30 p.m. MT, the screening will mark Anderson’s return to the festival 31 years after “Bottle Rocket” premiered at Sundance in 1993.

Back then, Anderson was just a recent University of Texas grad who had made the short with a pair of then-unknown actor brothers Owen and Luke Wilson. After its festival run, The Sundance Institute invited Anderson to its Screenwriters Lab, encouraging him to expand “Bottle Rocket” into what would be his first feature length film.

Anderson also made a surprise virtual appearance at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival awards ceremony to announce the Short Film Grand Jury Award winners. Before the filmmaker read off the names of Grand Jury Prize winner “The Masterpiece,” U.S. Fiction winner “Say Hi After You Die,” International Fiction winner “The Stag,” Nonfiction winner “Bob’s Funeral,” Animation winner “Bug Diner,” and special Directing prize winners “The Looming” and “Pisko the Crab Child is in Love,” Anderson reflected on his first Sundance experience putting up stickers and posters promoting “Bottle Rocket” around Park City. “I don’t really know why, there was only one screening of it,” said Anderson. “I think they’d sold the tickets [already].”

He added that when “Bottle Rocket” played at the festival, “I don’t believe there was a short film prize at that time, or any prizes for the short films. Anyway, we certainly didn’t get any.” Now, however, 31 years later, and more than a dozen short films in the can, Anderson has a chance to win an Academy Award on Hollywood’s biggest night, for his live action short “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.”

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