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Robert Downey Jr., Jodie Foster, and Jesse Eisenberg to present at Sundance Opening Night Gala

David Archuleta will write a memoir covering his experiences in the Mormon Church, 'American Idol,' and coming out. Sundance Festival kicks off.

The Sundance Film Festival's kick-off gala, presented by Chase Sapphire, is set to feature some big names in the industry. Robert Downey Jr., Jesse Eisenberg, Jodie Foster, and Christine Vachon will all be taking the stage to honor their collaborators at the event, which is scheduled to take place at the DeJoria Center on January 18th.

Downey, known for his role in the film Oppenheimer, will be paying tribute to his director, Christopher Nolan, as he receives the inaugural Sundance Institute Trailblazer Award for his outstanding career and contributions to independent cinema. Eisenberg will be presenting to his former co-star and friend Kristen Stewart, who will be receiving the Visionary Award for her work as an uncompromising artist and her long history with the Sundance Film Festival. Foster will be presenting a Vanguard Award for nonfiction to documentary filmmaker Maite Alberdi, while Vachon will be honoring filmmaker Celine Song with a Vanguard Award for fiction.

Additionally, Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, will be presenting journalist and producer Pat Mitchell with the Vanguard Award for philanthropy.

The opening night gala is an important fundraising event for the Sundance Institute, which supports independent artists year-round through labs, grants, and public programming. The festival is also supported by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, Acura, and Google TV. The Sundance Film Festival will run from January 18th to 28th in Park City and Salt Lake City, as well as online from January 25th to 28th.

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