Sundance Film Festival - First 24 hours
1/23/2014 1:52:00 AM
The air is very dry here in Utah. Ever since I arrived Tuesday evening for the Sundance Film festival, I’ve felt like my voice is about to go, but it’s hanging in there. I can’t help but wonder what it’s like here in the summer. But the festival is always in January, the coldest time of the year.
There couldn’t be a more beautiful setting for this festival experience. The mountains that are all covered with snow surround Park City, the town where most of the action is. You can see the ski slopes lit up at night, and it’s really quite a sight.
Park City is cute, cozy and festive, with many colored lights adorning the streets and shops along Main Street. The Egyptian Theater is in the heart of the town, and that’s where many of the films are shown. Robert Redford owns a restaurant there, too, called Zoom. No sign of him yet!
We’ve already sampled the local brew, food, and hospitality. The townsfolk couldn’t be nicer. The volunteers for the festival are everywhere, donning bright blue ski jackets with the Sundance Logo on the front, and Kenneth Cole written across the back, one of this year’s key sponsors.
In fact, one of the best films I’ve seen here is the short vignette created by the Kenneth Cole Foundation and the Sundance Institute that debuted today before every screening to celebrate the volunteers. "JUST SUNDANCE" uses Lady Gaga’s song “Just Dance” while some of the over 2,000 volunteers dance for the cameras and bits of past Sundance premieres are woven throughout. The upbeat nature of the piece got everybody in the audience revved up and clapping, adding to the anticipation of the film we were about to see.
That short is then followed by a Sundance promo that was created and made by a Philadelphia production company called Klip Collective.
The trailer, in honor of the festival’s 30th anniversary was created using the Egyptian Theater as a backdrop, and names of many of the films that got their start at Sundance including Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Little Miss Sunshine and Beasts of the Southern Wild superimposed on the marquee in rapid succession.
To be chosen to create the opening promo film that is seen before every screening at Sundance is quite an honor, and we can be proud to say it was Made in Philadelphia.
I started pretty early with an 8:30 screening of “The One I Love” which will sure to be picked up for wide distribution. The two main stars, Elizabeth Moss and Mark Duplass were both on stage afterwards to field questions from the audience.
Then, it was onward to “The Skeleton Twins” starring Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader. Unfortunately, neither of them were there to say hello to the audience afterward, but the director was, Craig Johnson.
The last film for me for my first day was “Land Ho” which only 12 hours ago put together a deal with Sony Pictures Classic to release the film. This is one of the main reasons filmmakers seek to get chosen to be in this festival; to get distribution or further promotion/funding for their film. The young duo that directed Land Ho are now on their way to becoming career filmmakers.