Friday, January 20, 2012

Sundance 2012 – Pre-Fest & Day 1

So, I’ve been in Park City since Monday! Apparently, they have been having a snow drought. One of the first days it’s snowed here was right as I arrived. We did get a good amount today, but it’s still FAR from what I’m used to seeing.

Now, most of the first few days was filled with our regular training sessions and getting the theatre ready for the fest to start. But I did make it to one of the Volunteer Screenings. I was able to see ‘Monsieur Lazhar’ by director Philippe Falardeau. The French Canadian film, in French, was a rather beautiful character drama about people recovering from traumatic experiences. The film is also Canada’s Oscar Submission for Foreign Film. The film had a simple, yet subtle tone that showed how difficult the loss of a loved one and the struggle it takes to move on with your life can truly be. There was a choice to keep colors subtle as well as camera movements and shot choices. I do wish them the best of luck with their Oscar Submission.

Now, Thursday was the kick off press conference at the Egyptian and my team always gets tasked with assisting the press department in making it run smooth as silk. And of course, we did not disappoint. Now, one funny moment was right as Mr. Redford arrived and came inside, he grabbed a wig off the counter that the Egyptian Theatre just happened to still have sitting there. Quite funny as he put it on and turned to those around him and said, “No touch ups, I think I’m good to go!” I couldn’t help but laugh myself. And NO, no pics, I know FAR better than that… just a great memory for me!

That night, there were screenings at three theatres and volunteer screenings at another. I chose to kick off my official (non-volunteer) screenings this year with Shorts Program 1, which ironically was playing at the Egyptian Theatre.

Shorts Program 1 was made up of SIX amazing short films, all vastly different in nature:

‘Fishing Without Nets’ Dir: Cutter Hodierne An amazing film about Somali Pirates from the perspective of the pirates. Totally fictional film, but with an amazing documentary feel.

‘Las Palmas’ Dir: Johannes Nyholm An adorable short film about a baby girl acting like a baby in a grown up world, where the grown-ups were actually puppets smaller than the baby was. Cute & Hysterical!

‘A Morning Stroll’ Dir: Grant Orchard Amazing Animated piece looking at the simple act of a man getting passed by a chicken on the street over three vastly different timeframes, with amazingly different looks, feels and animation styles!

‘Random Strangers’ Dir: Alexis Dos Santos A cute love story which stems from Chatroullete, and shows how close two people can get without even being physically together. Very creatively shot!

‘Tooty’s Wedding’ Dir: Frederic Casella A crazy look at how attending the wedding of an old flame can go wrong for one British couple. Very cute, funny and well produced. It had a feature film feel.

‘Una Hora Por Favora’ Dir: Jill Soloway A cute look at a woman who picks up a Mexican day worker who gets more than he expected, but the point comes when she must drop back off. Very smart look at a woman going after what she wants, but hysterically loses herself in the process, only to be right back where she started.

Now, I know my reviews where rather short. If you all would like me to write longer reviews of the films I screen this year, please let me know. I’d be happy to write full reviews and post them individually, but I want to hear your comments and feedback first.

OK, there is Pre-Fest and Day 1 in a nutshell. Day 2 has been busy already, and now I must head off to our first official Midnight Shift! I hope to post Day 2 recap later tonight or tomorrow morning. Until then…

No comments: