2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: DINA

Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini profile an unforgettable woman as she seeks to realize her desires.

Festival Section:
US Documentary Competition

Sundance Program Description:

Dina, an outspoken and eccentric 49-year-old in suburban Philadelphia, invites her fiancé Scott, a Walmart door greeter, to move in with her. Having grown up neurologically diverse in a world blind to the value of their experience, the two are head-over-heels for one another, but shacking up poses a new challenge. Scott freezes when it comes to physical intimacy, and Dina, a KARDASHIANS fanatic, wants nothing more than to share with Scott all she’s learned about sensual desire from books, TV shows, and her previous marriage. Her increasingly creative forays to draw Scott close keep hitting roadblocks – exposing anxieties, insecurities, and communication snafus while they strive to reconcile their conflicting approaches to romance and intimacy.

Filmmakers Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini construct seamless vérité scenes that lovingly frame Dina and Scott’s vulnerable, yet matter-of-fact romance. Whether at the local nail salon, the warm beaches of Ocean City, Dina’s racy bachelorette party, or on honeymoon in the Poconos, DINA captures the cadences and candid conversations of a relationship that reexamines the notion of love on-screen.

Some Background:

  • Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini
    This is the filmmaking duo’s sophomore feature following their Tribeca-debuting MALA MALA.


  • David Hinojosa
    Killer Films’ Hinojosa’s Sundance narrative credits as producer or executive producer include last year’s WIENER-DOG, FRANK & LOLA, GOAT, and WHITE GIRL, in addition to several 2017 narratives. He previously co-produced MALA MALA.

  • Duncan Way
    This is Way’s first documentary and first Sundance credit.

Executive Producers:


  • Sofia Subercaseaux
    Subercaseaux has previously cut a number of Sundance narratives, including CHRISTINE (2016), NASTY BABY (2015), and CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGIC CACTUS (2013). She also edited MALA MALA.

Why You Should Watch:
Dina and Scott make for an indelible and endlessly endearing pair in this never-sensationalized look at their developing relationship. Sickles and Santini achieve a remarkable sense of closeness without seeming to upset their subjects’ comfort, at times almost suggesting a fictional set-up that lends the project a unique feel.

More Info:
Meet the Artists

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance 2017 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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