Its Friday morning. Everyone is still asleep at my condo, but with 30 minutes to go before I have to go to Sundance's headquarters to pick up a couple of complimentary press tickets and have a meeting with one of our programmers, I need to take the time now and figure out my schedule for today. Press and industry screenings. Public screening. Meetings, and parties. Should be a very full day.
Yesterday, upon our arrival we were struck by the lack of snow on the roads and pathways, I think it may be my first time in Sundance without having to slush through the snow everywhere, its amazing. During the day the weather was beautiful, the sky was perfectly blue, the sun was shining and the temperature could have been up to 40. However, as the afternoon wore off and the evening began, that has changed, and by the time we were out on main street having dinner, it was freeeeeeezing....So lesson number one for today - wear long johns!
Amazing how many people you run into on the first day of arrival here. Its good to arrive on Thursday, the day of the Opening Night Film, as town is not nearly as packed yet. You can actually walk around without pushing your way through the crowds, see familiar faces and stop and say hi, give a hug, wish people luck. Going to headquarters yesterday I saw so many of the filmmakers we're supporting this year. Tze Chun (Children of Invention) , Jeff Lipsky (Once More With Feeling), Josh Zeman (Against the Current), Molly Thompson (The September Issue)... as well as our IFP friends Michelle Byrd, Amy Dotson and Milton Tabbot, our Indiepix friend Danielle DiGiacomo, specialty distributor Orly Ravid, film sales rep extraordinaire Josh Braun... and many more. Everyone was just gathering their thoughts and making their plans, excited to be in Park City again and looking forward to a rewarding experience.
After checking in at the NY Lounge to touch base with NY State Commissioner Pat Kaufamn regarding our Breakfast Party there on Monday the 19th, saying hi to my beautiful former assistant and this year's Sundance's Volunteer Coordinator Rachel Katz, we headed back to Main Street (it was cold then) for a quick bite, and then off to Opening Night Film at the Eccles.
Running into our friend Bill Plympton, one of America's best animators, he quickly made a fantastic flyer for our Breakfast Party, signed and gave it to me to copy and distribute (thanks Bill!), which was great. People actually stopped and looked to see what he was doing...
Then, the movie. Max and Mary. An Australian animation, which was a first for Sundance as an opening night film. And you know what, it was great. Five years in the making, all hand animation (not one single computer generated frame, as the filmmaker stressed in his opening remarks). Funny, heart warming, and moving, this was an opening night film unlike any other. The film does not have US distribution yet, hopefully it will get it here.
Well, must leave now for a very full day. See you later at the movies!