Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2013 Sundance Film Festival

The Egyptian Theater on Main Street in Park City
For those of you that don't know, the Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization that was started in 1981 in Sundance, Utah by Robert Redford. This organization supports, both creatively and financially, the theater and film works of independent artists. The Sundance Film Festival was started in 1984 and is positively the most well known part of the Sundance Institute. This film festival takes place in Utah every January for 10 days, giving artists from around the world a chance to showcase their films.

Now, to be perfectly honest, some of the films aren't, well.....that great. They are typically low budget films that push the limits of creativity, not just in the production sense, but in the stories that are being told. You might luck out and get to watch a moving documentary or a coming of age love story, or an eye opening historical foreign film, but you might also get a bizarre story without much of a plot. It could be a black and white film with low-tech special effects or something filmed with a shaky camera. Don't get me wrong, the whole experience is fun and very exciting, and if you live in Utah and haven't experienced it yet I highly recommend doing so. I've lived in Utah for 16 years and up until just a few years ago I had never been to the Sundance Film Festival myself (I can't believe it took me so long to go!).
Film Guide & Tickets
Of course you could walk around Park City (the main place of events) and hope to spot some celebrities (though I've never had such luck), but going to The Sundance Film Festival without seeing a film is like going to a restaurant without ordering anything. It takes some planning, but it's worth it. You must register a few months before the festival just to be able to purchase tickets for the films and that does not guarantee that the film or films you want to see will be available, but whatever is available grab it! Even if you get to purchase tickets to a film of your choice, the film may not be what you expected, but what movie ever is? Just remember to have an open mind and go for the experience of watching something unique and different from the mainstream cinema you are used to. Also, since the movies are not rated I do not recommend taking children to watch them, you could end up watching some porno for all you know, I'm kidding, but really, don't take your kids.

One of the best parts of experiencing a film during the Sundance Film Festival is that after the film is over the audience gets to meet the cast and crew and do a Q & A. This way you are able to find out how the film was made or what inspired the story for the film, or anything else you'd like to know. Additionally, at some film showings the members of the audience are given ballots to vote for the film for the Audience Awards given at Sundance, one of many types of awards given.
Cast & Crew of 'Escape from Tomorrow'
This year I only got to see one film called 'Escape From Tomorrow' and it was definitely not what I expected at all. It was weird, it was creepy, it was funny, it was dark, it was satirical, and it was definitely unlike anything I had ever seen before, but I enjoyed it very much and the buzz going on about this film has made the fact that I got to watch it all the more exciting. I'm not going to ramble on and critique this film or anything like that, but I did find a couple of online New York Times and CNN articles about why 'Escape From Tomorrow' has been one of the most talked about films of this year's Sundance Film Festival that I found interesting.

Now go! Experience the Sundance Film Festival (of 2014 that is) for yourself (or any other film festival for that matter)! For more info and to plan for next year's festival go to the festival's website.

Until next time!


“Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.” —Robert Redford, President and Founder of The Sundance Institute