78 - Rebecca Hall and Natalia Almada on the Power of Cinematic Sound & Images


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We are always delighted when independent filmmakers get access to our technologies because they tend to use these tools in such fascinating and creative ways. Very often in ways, we'd never imagined. Dolby Vision® and Dolby Atmos® are often perceived as tools for big-budget, tentpole action movies, which is why we created the Dolby Institute Fellowship, in partnership with the Sundance Institute: To give access to these technologies to filmmakers working with indie budgets. This year's recipients, both of which just had their premieres at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, are "Passing," a haunting film about race in 1920's America by first-time director Rebecca Hall, and "Users," an elegiac documentary about the overwhelming prevalence of technology in the world around us by MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient Natalia Almada. These absolutely stunning films use high dynamic range video and immersive sound in such intimate, almost personal ways, Glenn was excited to sit down with the directors to discuss their processes.

"My film plays a lot with scale and kind of disorienting you. Are you underwater? Is it small? Is it big? And Dolby Atmos gives you the ability to do that sonically. So that small thing suddenly fills the space and envelops you." —Natalia Almada, Director of "Users"

Shortly after this conversation, there was some exciting breaking news! Natalia Almada won the Sundance jury prize for Best Direction: Feature Documentary for "Users." And Rebecca Hall's "Passing" was acquired in a very big deal — which is especially exciting for us because now viewers will be able to experience this incredible film in Dolby Vision® and Dolby Atmos® on Netflix.

Check out additional highlights from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

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