2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: REBEL HEARTS

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles


REBEL HEARTS
Pedro Kos reveals the story of an unlikely group of radically progressive nuns.

Festival Section:
US Documentary Competition

Sundance Program Description:

During the 1960s, a tight-knit group of progressive nuns in Hollywood discarded their habits and gleefully oversaw a radical women’s college grounded in social activism. Spearheaded by sisters Anita Caspary, Helen Kelley, and Corita Kent (also a renowned pop artist), Immaculate Heart College ensured women received degrees at an unprecedented rate and crested a tidal wave of social change that engulfed the nation. But as the nuns marched on Selma and transformed the education system, they incurred the wrath of the archbishop of Los Angeles and, with him, the church’s entrenched old guard.

With a mixture of defiance and joy, REBEL HEARTS reveals one of the biggest religious showdowns of the twentieth century, which pitted a delightfully noncomforming group of feminist nuns against a powerful patriarchy insistent on female subservience. Pedro Kos’ euphoric and essential documentary reveals a groundbreaking sisterhood that not only flipped the bird—politely—at the Catholic Church’s brazen misogyny but, through their teachings, fundamentally reshaped American society.

Some Background:

Director:
Pedro Kos
Past Sundance docs:
THE GREAT HACK (producer, 2019)
BENDING THE ARC (2017)
THE SQUARE (co-producer, 2013)

Kos has also served as an editor or consulting editor on several Sundance alumni docs, including THE SQUARE, for which he won an Emmy.

Producers:
Kira Carstensen
Past Sundance docs:
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (short, 2012)

Managing partner, Merman. Carstensen was nominated for both the Academy Award and two News & Documentary Emmys for her previous Sundance doc.

Shawnee Isaac-Smith
First Sundance credit. Isaac-Smith gathered many of the interviews featured in the film over the course of two decades. In addition to producing, she has a background in wellness and therapeutic healthcare.

Judy Korin
Past Sundance docs:
THE GREAT HACK
BENDING THE ARC

Korin has received multiple Emmy nominations for directing and graphic design/titles, and has an extensive background in branded content.

Executive Producers:
Ethan Goldman
Past Sundance docs:
THE TRADE (SEASON ONE) (2018)
CENSORED VOICES (2015)

Partner/president, Anchor Worldwide. Goldman has previously held development positions for VH1, MTV, and Warrior Poets, among other companies.

Nancy Stephens and Rick Rosenthal
Past Sundance docs:

FEELS GOOD MAN (2020)
ALWAYS IN SEASON (2019)
DARK MONEY (2018)
THE DEVIL WE KNOW (2018)
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (2018)
BENDING THE ARC

The actress and film/TV director/producer-turned-philanthropists support arts, culture, health, and various progressive causes through the Rosenthal Family Foundation and Whitewater Films.

Abigail E. Disney
Recent past Sundance docs:
DISCLOSURE (2020)
ON THE RECORD (2020)
BENDING THE ARC
CAMERAPERSON (2016)

Chair/co-founder, Level Forward. CEO/co-founder, Fork Films. Disney is a News & Documentary Emmy-winning filmmaker and philanthropist.

Adrienne Becker
CEO/co-founder, Level Forward. Becker previously executive produced Sundance fiction feature alumni title THE ASSISTANT. She was a press secretary to Clinton/Gore, and has held executive positions at CBS, the Nielson Co, DailyCandy, and Killer Films, among other companies.

Christy Spitzer Thornton
Head of film and television, Rebelle Media. Former head of creative, Level Forward. Spitzer Thornton also executive produced THE ASSISTANT. She previously held positions at Participant Media and MTV.

Tony Hsieh
Co-founder, Zappos. Hsieh also has executive producer credits on fellow 2021 US Documentary Competition titles AILEY, AT THE READY, HOMEROOM, TRY HARDER!, and USERS, as well as Premieres title BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE. The Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist, who passed away in late November, was a backer of Bryn Mooser’s XTR.

Meadow Fund
Meadow Fund is a donor-advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Its director is philanthropist Patty Quillin, who has served as executive producer on numerous Sundance alumni docs, most recently THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (2020) and ON THE RECORD, as well as BENDING THE ARC, and who executive produced 2021 Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition title WRITING WITH FIRE and Premieres docuseries PHILLY DA. Quillin’s husband is Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Co-Executive Producers:
Bryn Mooser
Past Sundance docs:
BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS (2020)
FEELS GOOD MAN
THE FIGHT (2020)
MUCHO MUCHO AMOR (2020)
US KIDS (2020)
THE BRINK (2019)
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER (2019)
ON HER SHOULDERS (2018)

Founder/CEO, XTR. Mooser also executive produced AILEY, AT THE READY, TRY HARDER!, USERS, BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE, and the 2021 Next fiction title THE BLAZING WORLD, as well as co-executive produced HOMEROOM. The Oscar nominee and Emmy winner previously co-founded RYOT.

Kathryn Everett
Past Sundance docs:
BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS
FEELS GOOD MAN
THE FIGHT
MUCHO MUCHO AMOR

Head of film, XTR. Everett is also an executive producer of AILEY, AT THE READY, TRY HARDER!, USERS, BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE, and co-executive producer of HOMEROOM.

Justin Lacob
Past Sundance docs:
BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS
FEELS GOOD MAN

Head of development, XTR. Lacob is also an executive producer for AT THE READY. He joined XTR following executive roles at Spike TV/the Paramount Network.

Mimi Pham
Pham also executive produced AILEY, AT THE READY, HOMEROOM, TRY HARDER!, and USERS. She recently co-executive produced 76 DAYS (Toronto, DOC NYC).

Roberto Grande
Grande also executive produced AILEY, AT THE READY, HOMEROOM, TRY HARDER!, and USERS. The investor and entrepreneur managed Tony Hsieh’s partnership with XTR.

Regina K Scully
Recent past Sundance docs:
AGGIE (2020)
FEELS GOOD MAN
ON THE RECORD
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS
US KIDS
KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE (2019)
ALWAYS IN SEASON
THE GREAT HACK
306 HOLLYWOOD (2018)
GENERATION WEALTH (2018)
BISBEE ’17 (2018)
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING (2018)

Founder/CEO, Artemis Rising Foundation. Scully is an Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated social entrepreneur and philanthropist focused on transforming culture through media, education, and the arts. She also executive produced BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE and fellow 2021 US Documentary Competition title Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It.

Nina Fialkow
Past Sundance docs:

THE GREAT HACK
OUR NEW PRESIDENT (2018)
BENDING THE ARC
ICARUS (2017)

Fialkow is an Emmy-winning producer who previously worked at WGBH and whose areas of philanthropic interest include the arts and education.

Lyn Davis Lear
Past Sundance docs:

THE FIGHT
THE GREAT HACK
WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? (2019)
CESAR’S LAST FAST (2014)

Lear is a philanthropist and social and environmental activist who also serves on the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees. Her husband is legendary television producer Norman Lear. Lear also produced BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE and executive produced RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT in this year’s lineup.

Emma Ho
First Sundance credit. Director of development, Aggregate Films. Former creative executive, Anchor Entertainment.

Kristín Ólafsdóttir
First Sundance credit. Owner, Klikk Productions. Her past work has screened at Toronto, Tribeca, and Reykjavik.

Associate Producers:
Laurine DiRocco
First Sundance credit. DiRocco is an artist and educational consultant in the areas of visual arts and early childhood. She is an alumna of Immaculate Heart College, the institution featured in the film.

Gabriella Ricketts
Ricketts previously served as post-production coordinator on BENDING THE ARC.

More Info:
Meet the Artist
Website
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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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