Monday, January 21, 2013

Sundance Day 2!

I’m sitting in my hotel room right now, shoveling Reese’s Pieces and sorting through business cards, flyers, ads, promotional papers and lots of other “Sundance papers,” as I’m beginning to call them. Sundance is a tiny little microcosm in the mountains of film junkies all looking for something, most of us not exactly knowing what, but the excitement in the clear, mountain air is inspiring enough for a city dweller like me.

An interesting thing I’m already beginning to learn about this festival is that anyone can be someone. If you’re here without a film in the festival, nobody knows the difference. Networking is about presenting yourself in a professional, open, intelligent, and receptive way. If you listen to people and let them pitch you their work, I’ve found that people are extremely generous in giving you their time. They want to know what you’re working on, after all, it could be the next “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” or at least a project they can hop onto.

Park City in the morning!
My boyfriend, Robert Levin, despite approaching the festival from a much different, journalistic perspective, warned me that for everyone, Sundance is about pacing yourself, learning how to make plans, throwing them all away, and instead finding an event or a film to attend and seeing where it takes you. This go-with-the-flow nature of the festival has been a bit rough for me to contend with at times, considering I’m a heavy duty planner, but I feel like Sundance is accidentally just replicating what filmmaking is all about, happy accidents.

Today I began my day with Outfest’s brunch of bagels and fruit where I met some great filmmakers. I then saw three very different movies: first, the documentary "Which Way is the Front Line From Here" about photo journalist Tim Hetherington, next the tense indie drama “A Teacher,” and lastly, the intimate character film “This is Martin Bonner.” These movies are all vastly different, and I learned something interesting by seeing each of them. The Q and A’s were fascinating, especially to hear of Hannah Fidell’s process in using form to change the subject matter of “A Teacher” from a subject matter which audiences are very familiar with into something unsettling and unique.

I look forward to more films tomorrow (most people reading this, it will probably be today 1/21) because I’m posting it so late at night, Kickstarter’s Party in the evening, and another day in lots of winter gear. Did I mention that it’s freezing here?

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