Judas and the Black Messiah, Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, Will Premiere at Sundance 2021

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Sundance may look a bit different this year due to the global pandemic, but the film festival highlighting independent films is keeping that same major world premiere energy with its latest big announcement.

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Judas and the Black Messiah, the much-anticipated Shaka King-helmed film starring Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield will be making its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

“We are delighted to welcome these powerful works into our program,” Festival Director Tabitha Jackson said in a statement in a press release sent to The Root. “In a year where our Festival already exemplifies the vanguard of bold, visionary storytelling from around the world, they help further expand our boundaries.”

The film’s synopsis info, via Sundance’s press release:

Judas and the Black Messiah / U.S.A. (Director: Shaka King, Screenwriters: Will Berson, Shaka King, Producers: Ryan Coogler, Charles D. King, Shaka King)—FBI informant William O’Neal infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther party when J. Edgar Hoover fears charismatic leader Chairman Fred Hampton will emerge as a Black Messiah. O’Neal lives in fear of discovery and cannot escape the deadly trajectory of his betrayal. Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Lil Rel Howery, Martin Sheen. World Premiere

Kaluuya and Stanfield are also buzzing this week because the two each grace their own Entertainment Weekly covers.

“Usually when I do a job, I can remember what take they use,” Kaluuya told EW in regards to just how much he immersed himself in the role of Hampton. “But when I saw myself in the trailer doing the ‘I am a revolutionary’ speech, I [didn’t] remember shooting that. I kinda went to another place. I’m saying Chairman Fred’s actual words. Everyone’s dressed as the time. The Panthers were there. The spirit of the time entered the room. There were certain moments where I’d lose my voice, and then there’d be a take where I’d find it again. I don’t know where that second wind came from. It was very much an out-of-body experience.”

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“I think I realized after doing this film how important therapy is,” Stanfield, who portrays O’Neal, added. “Sometimes you get so deep into things that you lose track. We’re very ambitious. We wanna make this thing, make it right and do everything in our power to make sure we’re being honest with the details. But sometimes through that process of playing characters who have been through a lot of emotional trauma, you end up tapping back into your own emotional trauma — and sometimes you’re not prepared to do that.”

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Along with its Sundance digital premiere on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. Mountain Time (8 p.m. Eastern Time), Judas and the Black Messiah will premiere in-person via the following Satellite Screens:

THE PLAZA THEATER PRESENTED BY ATLANTA FILM SOCIETY

1049 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30306


DAD’S GARAGE DRIVE-IN PRESENTED BY ATLANTA FILM SOCIETY

569 Ezzard St SE , Atlanta, GA, 30312


JOURDAN-BACHMAN PIONEER FARMS PRESENTED BY AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY

10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin, TX, 78754


SIDEWALK DRIVE-IN

1801 1st Ave. N. , Birmingham, AL, 35203


SIDEWALK FILM CENTER AND CINEMA

1821 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL, 35203


SPOTLIGHT CINEMAS CAPITAL 8 PRESENTED BY THE LUMINAL THEATER

201 Columbia Mall Blvd, Suite 211, Columbia, SC, 29223


THE TEXAS THEATRE PRESENTED BY AVIATION CINEMAS

231 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas, TX, 75208


MOONSTRUCK DRIVE-IN PRESENTED BY HOUSTON CINEMA ARTS SOCIETY

100 Bringhurst St, Houston, TX, 77020


FILMSCENE AT THE CHAUNCEY

404 E. College St, #100, Iowa City, IA, 52240


THE SPEED ART MUSEUM

2035 S. 3rd Street, Louisville, KY, 40208


MALCO SUMMER DRIVE-IN PRESENTED BY INDIE MEMPHIS

5310 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN, 38122


RIVERVIEW THEATER PRESENTED BY FILMNORTH

3800 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, 55406


BELCOURT DRIVE-IN

2102 Belcourt Ave, Nashville, TN, 37212


THE LOFT OPEN AIR CINEMA

3233 East Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ, 85716


ADMIRAL TWIN DRIVE-IN PRESENTED BY CIRCLE CINEMA

7355 E Easton St, Tulsa, OK, 74115


CIRCLE CINEMA

10 S Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK, 74104


STARLITE DRIVE-IN PRESENTED BY MAMA.FILM

3900 S Hydraulic Ave, Wichita, KS, 67216

Tickets for Judas and the Black Messiah are now on sale at sundance.org. The film will make its wide release in theaters on Feb. 12 and it will also simultaneously stream on HBO Max for 31 days from its theatrical release.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

DISCUSSION

gityorguns
GitYorGunz

Despite having this anticipated film on my calendar for a few weeks, I admit there’s a bit of trepidation. The same trepidation I always have when I watch movies/documentaries of historical events that have traumatized me. It’s best I watch this genre in privacy where I can pause as needed to calm down and breathe vs. being trapped in a theater where I’d worry letting loose my anger.