Institute History


Set on the casino floors and hotel room frontiers of Reno, SYDNEY is the classic tale of man against fate. Sydney, an aging gambler, is the king pin of the story. He takes John, a lost soul, under his wing and teaches him about gambling and survival. In a pseudo father-son relationship, these men depend on each other. But as in most tragedies, the past comes into play, and the very catalyst that brought these two men together may also be their demise.

John falls in love with a young prostitute, Clementine. After a whirlwind courtship they marry. In order to turn their life around for the better, Clementine sleeps with a man who then refuses to pay her. John soon gets involved and together they hold the man as hostage. Complications arise and they find themselves in a dangerous situation way over their heads. John must learn to be his own man, but what price must he pay for learning? When Sydney is finally sought for help, he must walk the fine line between keeping the past hidden and the future possible.

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]