Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sundance 2012 – Day 2

So as the first full day of Sundance 2012 gets underway, I planned to jump out of the gates strong.

I started my day with a screening of ‘Hello I Must be Going’ Dir: Todd Louiso. This is one film I was making it a point to see. The lead actress, Melanie Lynskey, is the real life wife of one of the cast members on ‘Breakout Kings’, Jimmi Simpson. The film is a coming of age film of sorts about a divorced woman falling for and having a romance with a younger man. It was really an amazing film. It had great performances from the entire cast and really captured Melanie’s character as she went from giving up on life to picking herself back up, while dealing with her family and insecurity about what to truly do with her life. There is even a great cameo by Jimmi himself.

Next, I raced over to the Yarrow Theatre to catch Shorts Program 2. Much like Shorts Program 1, Program 2 has a very diverse and quite impressive grouping of short films:

- ‘ ’92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie Card’ Dir: Todd Sklar The short is about two very different brothers dealing with the loss of their father, sometime in very immature ways. It’s a great comedy/coming-of-age (if I can call it that) film with honest moments between both brothers, which I can relate too all too well. Also, the film was shot in Branson, MO with a friend or two working on the crew! YAY!

- ‘The Arm’ Dirs: Brie Larson, Sarah Ramos, Jessie Ennis A very cute story about a community dealing with the loss of a teenage girl and the boy who was known to be her boyfriend. Very creative tale of how context from text messages can be taken WAY too far!

- ‘The Black Balloon’ Dirs: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie Amazing tale of one balloon’s journey to find companionship. Impossible to describe balloon choreography! Is that what it would be called? Great visuals with a cute story. I still wonder how they did some, ok just about all, the things they did.

- ‘Girl’ Dir: Fijona Jonuzi An interesting short about a young man who invites an older woman over to party with his young friends one night. The relationships are interesting and it definitely leaves you wondering exactly what happens that night.

- ‘Henley’ Dir: Craig MacNeill A creative tale about a young boy who finds entertainment, and a little profit, in bringing roadkill to his father, the owner of the roadside motel they own and live at. This film definitely plays a little on the dark side making you wonder just how far this young boy will go. Great performance for a young, new talented actor.

- ‘OK Breathe Auralee’ Dir: Brooke Swaney An interesting tale about a woman dealing with her desire to have a baby. There was interesting visuals with a little supernatural feel, as well as interesting chemistry between the lead actress and two men she desires.

- ‘The Return (Kthimi) Dir: Blerta Zeqiri A simple yet quite unnerving tale about a woman reunited with her POW boyfriend/husband. As they cope with the struggles each has been through, it’s hard to tell who has had it worse. Simple, yet impactful.

Also, while I was entering the screening, I ran into a friend and former Sundance volunteer, Heather Kasprzak! I found out that her and her boyfriend, Tyler Dixon, are finalists, AGAIN (YES, I SAID AGAIN), in the Doritos Superbowl Commercial Competition! YAY! So please go vote for their commercial ‘Dog Park’ at:


I truly hope we all can cheer her and Tyler on to win the competition this year! So please visit the link above and VOTE for ‘Dog Park’!

Next, I took advantage of a late notification of a special panel at the Sundance Filmmakers Lodge! The panel, ‘The New Social Pollinators’, which covered using the Internet and social networking to help get projects off the ground, seen and moving forward. The panelists were Alex Carloss (YouTube); Bob Moczydlowsky (Topspin Media); Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter); and moderator Wendy Levy (Tomorrow Partners). It was amazingly informative about how to use these resources and those similar to cross social networks and benefit a project. I’m glad I caught the notification and was able to make it there!

Now, today was also the first shift I had at the Egyptian Theatre. We had two great and packed screenings. At 9:00 PM we had ‘Violeta Went to Heaven’ Dir: Andres Wood and at Midnight we had ‘The Pact’ Dir: Nicholas McCarthy. ‘The Pact’ is the feature film version of a Short Film from Sundance 2011 of the same name. Now, I regret to inform you that because I had a lot to handle in my shift I was not able to screen either film. Some Midnight shows I can, and others I can’t. These I couldn’t.

OK… there is Day 2 at Sundance 2012. More to come as the Festival rolls on!

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