The Ankler.
The Ankler Podcast
Ankler Hot Seat: What to Expect at Sundance

Ankler Hot Seat: What to Expect at Sundance

Our podcast is increasing frequency this week and next in honor of Hollywood's big festival. Hosted by Janice Min, Richard Rushfield and Tatiana Siegel
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Welcome to The Ankler Hot Seat, a new podcast that takes you behind the scenes of Hollywood’s big personalities, power struggles and ever-changing playbook. It is a production of The Ankler, a subscription-only newsletter. Please follow us on Apple Podcasts (and rate us if you like what you are hearing), and on Twitter.

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Before we tell you about today’s episode…

We want to make sure you saw the news about The Optionist, a new Ankler newsletter about available intellectual property for the entertainment community that will debut Friday, January 21. Written by Andy Lewis, The Optionist aims to do some of your reading for you by highlighting the best material with rights still available from the worlds of book publishing, journalism and podcasts (names of reps will be attached to each property when applicable). As anyone who works in this industry knows, the publishing-to-Hollywood superhighway has only expanded in the streaming age, yet the hours in the day have not. We hope this newsletter helps makes your work life just a little bit more productive through our legwork.

For a limited time, you can sample The Optionist for free here.

Learn more about Andy’s background here.

Subscribe to The Optionist


Okay, back to the podcast at hand. Over this week and next, The Ankler Hot Seat team will deliver five podcasts in total about the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the premiere festival for independent film for Hollywood that has become something so much more: a place for stars, brands and yes, still cinema, to convene. But this year, it’s not in person. Again.

This episode, the first in the series, kicks off the festival. Our hosts, Janice Min, Richard Rushfield and Tatiana Siegel preview what is on hand now that the proceedings have gone from IRL in Park City, Utah, to virtual. The team discusses the Sundance titles that everyone is talking about, festival It Girl Dakota Johnson, the hunt for the mythical next Little Miss Sunshine, and the white hot Sinead O’Conner documentary from Josh Braun, the same agent who sold the Billie Eilish documentary for $26 million to Apple. Oh, and don’t miss the dissection of the swag — omg, the swag. Plus, our hosts pay homage to Sundance’s pinnacle, er, nadir atop Park City’s Main Street — the Pizza Hut VIP lounge. And lots more.

It is a lively discussion where you’ll almost feel the Park City snow on your face.

Please join us on Friday of this week for another Sundance podcast, and on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of next week.

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Follow @TheAnkler @AnklerHotSeat and our hosts: @janicemin @anklerrushfield @tatianasiegel27.

If you’d like to sponsor The Ankler Hot Seat, contact Kymber Allen at

And subscribe now to The Ankler, and learn why The New York Times called us a “hit Hollywood newsletter.”


Also on The Ankler:

  • Hollywood’s China Grovel is Failing Writer Sonny Bunch dives into the absolute mess stemming from the studios’ decades of capitulation to the Chinese government. The Chinese government was badly embarrassed following American outrage over the revelations that Disney’s live-action Mulan filmed on location in Xinjiang province — where as many as a million Muslim Uyghurs have been detained in concentration camps designed to destroy their ethnic identity. Disney has paid a price ever since. None of Disney’s new Marvel Cinematic Universe films received a theatrical release in China. Not Black Widow, not Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which used Chinese iconography and Chinese actors in the hopes of appealing to Chinese audiences and winning approval of Chinese officials, and not Eternals, which was directed by the best director-winning, China-born Chloe Zhao, who has her own baggage with Chinese audiences after old interviews resurfaced in which she said China was a “place where there are lies everywhere.”

  • Broadway’s Crisis: It’s ‘Las Vegas on the Hudson’ As Broadway suffers its lowest attendance in a decade, omicron wreaking havoc, and audiences rejecting one new production after another, longtime entertainment critic and journalist Frank Scheck writes about Broadway’s risk of becoming Vegas-on-the-Hudson, a place defined only by longstanding mega-hits: "If the producing doesn't get smarter, the gap between the blandly commercial and artistically pretentious flops will continue to widen."

  • ESG Report: Uh-oh, Streaming Musicals Keep Bombing Netflix’s Tick, Tick...Boom! from Lin-Manuel Miranda was NOT another Hamilton — and the problems kept mounting from there for the category.

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