Rita Moreno to Take Part in This Year’s Sundance Film Festival Semi-Virtual Edition

Rita Moreno is ready to rock Sundance…

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival has announced a schedule of the talks and events to be presented on the Sundance platform, with the 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer set to participate.

Rita Moreno

The festival, which runs from January 28 to February 3, opted for a semi-virtual option in lieu of its traditional exhibition in Park City, UT. Among the guests taking part in this year’s virtual “Cinema Cafe” talks are Moreno, Questlove, Robin Wright and others.

Moreno will be joined by beloved Sesame Street alum Sonia Manzano for a little café talk on Saturday, January 30 from 10:30-11:15 am.

The EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars & Tony Awards) winner will also take part in the Conjuring the Collective: Womxn at Sundance Speakeasy later that night, from 8:00 – 9:00 pm.

The virtual speakeasy will feature performances from an array of talented women from the Festival and beyond, honoring a multiplicity of perspectives through our myths and stories, dance, art, music, and culture.

In addition to Moreno, guests include poet Apiorkor, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison (Ailey), actor Marlee Matlin and director Siân Heder.

The following is the roster of scheduled events. All talks and events are free to view, and all times are U.S. Mountain time.

2021 Sundance Film
Festival Opening Night Welcome
Thursday, January 28,
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The Sundance Dailies
Friday, January 29–Tuesday, February 2,
9:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.

2021 Cinema Café guests:

Shaka King & Ahmir
“Questlove” Thompson
Friday, January 29, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Sonia Manzano & Rita Moreno
Saturday, January 30, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Rebecca Hall & Robin Wright
Sunday, January 31, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Tyson Brown, Patti Harrison & Emilia Jones
Monday, February 1, 10:30-11:15am

The Big Conversation
Friday, January 29-Monday, February 1,
1-2 p.m., individual slots TBA
The Big Conversation tackles science, art, culture, and the movements that are fueling the imaginations of today’s independent artists. A compelling selection of speakers discuss topics centered on the themes of this year’s program and explore broader trends in art and culture around the world. In considering how
artists — through their practice and their work — make meaning of the world, we’re reminded that it’s the big conversation that connects us to the big ideas. The topics are “Barbed Wire Kisses Redux,” “Come Together” and “The Past In the Present: A Personal Journey through Race, History and Filmmaking.”

Power of Story
Timing TBA
The Sundance Film Festival’s Power of Story looks to deepen public engagement with storytelling, delve into cinema culture, and celebrate artists whose work propels the form and reinvents storytelling as we know it.

Power of Story: Speculative Fiction Is the Place
Black speculative fiction and historiography, Afrofuturism, and utopian/dystopian visions speak to an enduring, evolving, and vibrant storytelling sensibility.

Conjuring the Collective: Womxn at Sundance Speakeasy
Saturday, January 30, 8-9 p.m.
A virtual speakeasy featuring performances from an array of talented women from the Festival and beyond, honoring a multiplicity of perspectives through our myths and stories, dance, art, music, and culture. Guests include: poet Apiorkor, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison (Ailey), actor Marlee Matlin and director Siân Heder (CODA), actor Rita Moreno (Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It), actor SOKO (Mayday, The Blazing World), and more TBA.

Awards Night
Tuesday, February 2, 6 p.m.
Free and open to all, the event will be live-streamed on our online screening platform.

It’s a Wrap
Wednesday, February 3, 9-9:30 a.m.
Festival director Tabitha Jackson leads a ceremonial end to this all-new Sundance experience by bringing audiences together for one last moment together in the virtual space.

Thalia Lending Her Voice to Latest Dora the Explorer Special

Call it Thalia’s big adventure…

The 40-year-old Mexican singer/actress will be lending her voice to an upcoming television special featuring characters from Dora the Explorer.


Thalia will provide the voice of the mermaid’s mother in Nickelodeon’s Dora’s Rescue in Mermaid Kingdom, set to air Friday night.

The story centers on the efforts of Dora and Boots to help Maribel—a lost mermaid they encounter on the beach—get back to her mother in the Mermaid Kingdom.

“Dora is such an iconic and important Latina heroine, and I’m proud to now be a part of the show’s ever-growing legacy,” says Thalia, a mother of two. ““I was thrilled to play a role on Dora the Explorer, a show that has touched the lives of many children around the world including my own child.”

Dora, now voiced by 7-year-old Fatima Ptacek, is a 7-year-old bilingual Latina who explores an “imaginative, tropical world filled with jungles, beaches and rainforests.”

In its more than 10 year history on the air, the Emmy-winning show has featured guests like John Leguizamo, Cheech Marin, Ricardo Montalban, Esai Morales and Chita Rivera.

Louis C.K.’s Latest Comedy Special Available Online…

Louis C.K. is one of the most revered comics of the modern era… And, he’s apparently one of the smartest, too.

To give anxious fans instant access to his recent material, the 44-year-old part-Mexican comedian/actor has released Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theater straight to the internet.

Louis C.K.

The one-hour comedy special starts with Louis making his own kind of please-turn-off-your-cell-phone announcement and a warning not to text or tweet during the show: “Just live your life,” he says. And it builds to a moment where he has to pause and say, “Okay, that’s the worst thing I’ve ever said. It’s good to know I’ve hit bottom.”

Louis, who received an Emmy nomination for his starring role in FX’s comedy series Louie, is offering the one-hour special on his own website for only $5.

By purchasing the special, you’ll be able to stream it twice in your browser or download it twice as an unprotected MPEG 4 video file. Once downloaded, you’ll be able to view the special as often as you’d like, put it on your iPad or even burn it to a DVD.

But he asks that you please not illegally download it.

“I’d just like you to consider this: I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice,” says the comedian. “I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy
this video in any way they want without ‘corporate” restrictions.’”

To download the special, simply visit www.louisck.net.

Don Francisco Named to TV Hall of Fame…

It’s a momento gigante for legendary Spanish-language television host Don Francisco

The 70-year-old Chilean television icon will be inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & SciencesHall of Fame next March for his extraordinary contributions to television.

Mario Kreutzberger, Don Francisco

Born Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, the Emmy-winning Univision star is best known for hosting Sábado Gigante, one of the most popular programs in the history of Spanish-language television. He’s also the host of Don Francisco Presenta, another variety show that features interviews with big-name artists.

Born in southern Chile, Kreutzberger is the son of German Jewish immigrants who fled to the South American country to escape Nazi persecution. His father hoped he’d follow in his footsteps by working in the garment industry. After working as an apprentice in New York City, Don Francisco returned to Chile and decided to work in broadcasting instead. On August 8, 1962, the show that went on to make television history, Sábado Gigante, was born. It has since been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “… longest-running TV show in the Americas.”

Kreutzberger has received several honors throughout his career, including the “Gabriela Mistral Order of Merit,” the Chilean government’s highest grade of Grand Officer for his contributions to culture and solidarity in the country. Kreutzberger has also been honored with a
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2001 and an Emmy in 2005 for being a leader in Spanish-language television.

In his home country, Kreutzberger created the Chilean Telethon which has resulted in the construction of 11 hospitals, where more than 80,000 disabled children are treated. His idea inspired 13 Latin American countries to create their own telethons.

Kreutzberger will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 21st annual ceremony on March 1 at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hills Hotel.

Image courtesy of AP Photo/Alan Diaz.