Thursday, January 10, 2008

Here Comes Sundance

Every January the anticipation for the Sundance Film Festival heats up for everyone in the independent film world.  Filmmakers, distributors, publicists, journalists, producer reps, entertainment attorneys, festival programmers and directors, actors, all are beginning to focus their work on one things and one place - Sundance in Park City Utah.

The publicists distribute their slates. The film reps distribute theirs. Filmmakers send out invites to their premiere. Industry members send out congratulations to the accepted filmmakers. Companies send out invites to their parties.  And everyone contacts everyone, trying to exchange party invites, cell phone numbers, last meet couches to crash on, and meetings at every possible spot, indoors or outdoors.

My father, who is from Israel and does everything he can to keep away from the cold, is puzzled: "Why are you going to Utah now"? he asks. "Why would anyone hold the most important film festival in the country in the dead of winter in one of the coldest and snowiest parts of United States?  Do you really have to go there Meira?"  And I tell him that yes, indeed I absolutely do have to go there.  Not that I don't wish it was on a nice warm beach somewhere, believe me, I do, but weather is not what we all flock to Sundance for. No, the reason so many of us in the independent film world make the annual pilgrimage to Sundance, is because so many of the brand new, most exciting and innovative films from the country and the world will make their world premiere there, and along with al those great films, over 40,000 influential members of the independent film world will converge. 

Part of my homework between the beginning of January until the day I take off is to contact as many potential sponsors, media, industry executives and filmmakers, who will be attending the event, and set up meetings.  I've already sent ahead a package filled with hundreds of Woodstock Film Festival Call for Entry postcards, brochures, and other promotional material, which I will distribute all over Sundance next week. I also mapped out what films I MUST see and what films I hope to see.  Now I have to continue hooking up with people and setting up meetings.  And of course, pack up my boots and socks, hats and gloves... because it really is soooooooo cold out there. Brrrrr... But I still have a few days.  Taking off Jan 17th, early in the morning - in time to arrive for opening night film.

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