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'Judas and the Black Messiah' added to Sundance's Austin drive-in screenings

Eric Webb
Austin 360
Daniel Kaluuya, from left, Ashton Sanders, Algee Smith, Dominique Thorne and Lakeith Stanfield appear in "Judas and the Black Messiah."

The world premiere of a high-profile film has been added to the Sundance Film Festival, which is good news for Austinites. "Judas and the Black Messiah" will screen here, thanks to Austin Film Society's status as a Sundance satellite screen in the pandemic.

The buzzed about film directed by Shaka King will join previously announced Sundance films as part of a series of drive-in shows at Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms. "Judas and the Black Messiah" screens at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 2. 

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Starring Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya, "Judas and the Black Messiah" dramatizes the true story of FBI informant William O’Neal (Stanfield), who infiltrated the Illinois Black Panther party in the late 1960s at the order of J. Edgar Hoover. He was ordered to gather information on leader Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), leading to a deadly betrayal. The film, which was written by King and Will Berson and produced by King, Ryan Coogler and Charles D. King, also stars Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Lil Rey Howery and Martin Sheen.

Sundance also added two other films to the slate that AFS will screen here in town: "Censor" (directed by Prano Bailey-Bond) and "How It Ends" (directed by Daryl Wein). Narrative feature "Censor," about a film censor with buried trauma from her past, is described as "a faithful, creative ode to 1980s aesthetics and a twisted, bloody love letter to the video nasties of the era." It screens at 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 30. "How It Ends," meanwhile, is a star-studded ensemble comedy about the apocalypse, with a cast including Zoe Lister-Jones, Helen Hunt, Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Lamorne Morris and Nick Kroll. It screens at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30.

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Previously announced Sundance films screening in Austin are "Son of Monarchs," "The Pink Cloud," "At the Ready," "The Blazing World" and "Users."

Tickets to AFS' drive-in screenings are $25 per car and $15 per extra passenger. Go to austinfilm.org/2021-sundance-film-festival for more information.