Emilia Clarke kicks off Sundance as film fest returns to mountain

Stars from “Game of Thrones” and Hollywood put on their winter boots and returned to the Utah mountains as Emilia Clarke opened the first Sundance festival held locally in three years.

Robert Redford co-founded Sundance, which has screened innumerable independent films. However, since recent editions were made available online by Covid, Sundance has been noticeably absent from its winter, high-altitude home base in Park City.

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“This is my first ever Sundance. So I am over the moon that everyone is filled with the same amount of excitement as I am,” said Clarke, whose “The Pod Generation” film premiere headlined Thursday’s opening night.

“It’s really important as well for independent cinema. We need to keep it alive,” she told AFP.

In “The Pod Generation,” a near-future social satire starring Clarke and Chiwetel Ejiofor, a business has created a detachable egg-shaped “womb,” allowing couples to carry their offspring to term externally.

While neatly keeping its inventor’s female employees at the workplace and away from “distractions” from work, the gadget is touted to protect women from the physical challenges of pregnancy.

“There are so many aspects of this film that ask so many fundamental questions that I think many of us will be wrestling with, especially now,” said Clarke.

“I think it’s timely, important and beautiful.”

Although Sundance tends to focus on indie films, Clarke is one of many Hollywood A-listers who will travel to Park City for high-profile premieres.

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