Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sundance Recap Day #1

Yesterday was one of the longest, yet most rewarding days I’ve had in a long time. My day began at 4 am in NYC followed by a layover in Houston, landing in Salt Lake City around noon, renting a car and driving to Park City with my boyfriend.

I immediately went to a Tisch Alumni event at Grub Steakhouse in Prospector Square (which I’m actually headed back over to for a brunch in a few minutes for OutFest). The reception was really enjoyable. If you’re showing up to events alone, you have to look for an empty seat near friendly faces and just kind of plop down and chat. I met a lot of great people, some writers, filmmakers and producers, some surprisingly not even from Tisch. I also reconnected with some old film friends and hopefully will see them again at the festival.

Always have business cards in hand. People swap them like Pokemon trading cards.

After the alumni event, I wandered for a while, hopping on shuttle buses, exploring Main Street and hanging out in the Filmmaker Lounge with a few magazines and a chai latte. Then, I met up with my boyfriend for dinner and ran over up the mountainous Main Street to the Slamdance Festival to see my producing partner Katie Maguire’s film that she worked on “Hank and Asha,” (here’s the trailer) proceeded by a really great short by Columbia MFA director Victor Hugo Duran called “Fireworks”. Trailer here.

Slamdance is an extremely well organized festival, and very welcoming to new filmmakers. The audience was very receptive and excited about seeing new innovative works. Both “Fireworks” and “Hank and Asha” were stories that we’ve seen before—the former about children and the latter about love—yet, they were told in innovative ways. “Fireworks” was shot in one day, with lots of improv after the filmmakers trusted their guts and threw away most of the script, and “H&A” was told through videos sent from the two characters in different countries. They never acted in a scene together.

Overall, so far, Park City is beautiful, the festival is so worth it to come out here, and I’m tired, but so excited to see what other films and people I can see and meet. For me, it’s not about the stars, it’s about innovation, indie and art.

Stay tuned for more updates and hopefully some interviews with filmmakers!

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