Saturday, January 22, 2005

Who Goes to Sundance?

There are three kinds of people that come to town for Sundance:

1. Those that work in the movie industry. Typically from LA or New York. They dress fashionably casual (black on black, wool scarf and sunglasses). These folks typically see quite a few movies, and can sometimes have penetrating insights. It’s a pity if you get stuck sitting next to one of the arrogant ones, however. Obnoxiousness exudes from their pores, like a bad drunk they can never quite sleep off.

2. Celebrity Seekers. These lost souls come to Sundance because of its mystique. They try to see as many star-studded movies as they can, and hang around Main Street every night chasing celebrity sightings and good parties. They usually come with tickets to 10 movies, but end up missing half of them—especially any that start before noon—when they discover that they really don’t like most indies. This is the group that really gives Sundance a bad name to locals, and we try to avoid them at all costs.

3. Independent Movie Lovers. Surprisingly, there are quite a few of these out there, and one of the highlights of my Sundance every year is comparing notes on movies we’ve seen. They love to find hidden gems—films from first-time directors on low budgets with no stars. They come from all over, but mostly in the U.S. and many from Utah. Sundance is often just one of the festivals they attend every year. They often have special interests, such as documentaries, shorts or foreign films. These represent the true spirit of Sundance—with a passion and appreciation for independent films and filmmakers.


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