Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting Ready for Sundance 09

Oh boy, it's Tuesday. Two days before Sundance. I think I'm ready, but of course, there is still so much to do, and work for the Woodstock Film Festival and the Hudson Valley Film Commission is never ending.

Big films are scouting for locations in the area now, which is very exciting. We hope some will work out as it will be great for the local economy. Crossing my fingers. Can't release the names of the stars, but believe me, they are big.

And work for the festival is mounting. With deadlines for grant applications drawing near, talks with potential sponsors are ongoing, and programming for Year Round Screenings, special events, and the festival itself is starting to pick up. It's all very exciting, but also requires a lot of work. Lets hope that '09, which will be our TENTH anniversary will indeed be our best. I have high hopes.

In the meantime, Sundance is celebrating its TWENTY FIFTH anniversary this year. The program looks good. The parties look fabulous. I have good meetings lined up. Plenty of people traveling with me who will represent us. Should be good.

I see that some of the films in Sundance have already been bought by distributors, some of which are brand new companies, for who these Sundance acquisitions are the first in their slate. Does that mean that this year will be a good one for buyers? Will many films find a home because of Sundance? It's possible, as the preliminary numbers indicate, but its still too soon to know. I know that many filmmakers are already working on their plan B - a DIY (Do it Yourself) distribution plan - in case their films won't get picked up (and more often than not, that is the case).

Curious if there will be a runaway hit this year in the same vein as Little Miss Sunshine a few years ago. There is some growing buzz on some of the films already, can't wait to see them.

It's a different year this one. With the economy the way it is (many people who are watching their spending are opting to go to the Berlin Film Festival instead of Sundance, or just skipping the upcoming big film festivals all together...) and with the inauguration thats pulling quite a few people to DC instead of Sundance (for instance, Ted Sarandos, CEO of Netflix and the recipient of Woodstock's honorary Trailblazer Award in 07 will be in Washington this year instead of Park City, alas), some of the people I'm used to seeing out there won't be there this year. Perhaps that means that a whole new crop of industry folks will be there in their stead! We'll see.

I'm getting excited. Leaving Thursday at 3 AM, and the trip officially start once you get to the airport, as many New York industry members traditionally takes the same flight that I do. I look forward to it.

Until then.

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