Sundance 2015: Day 9

VR Birdly installation

Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 20th to February 1st.

Festival Day 7

Things are winding down as far my volunteering is going. I spent an extremely quiet and slow afternoon in the Film Office. From 1:00pm until 6:00pm, I didn’t have a single enquiry or thing to do. It’s tough to be sitting there doing nothing when there are films playing, but at least I didn’t have the early shift. I was able to sleep until 10:00am and catch up on yesterday’s blog post before heading into the office.

Absolutely NOTHING happened while I was there, however. Being busy is always better since it makes the day go by faster and today dragged. I had no real plans for the evening, either. After work, I just came home for an hour and then headed to Squatters Roadhouse for dinner. It’s a local brewpub I’d been meaning to try. I had a cheeseburger (I’ve been craving meat for a few days) and fries and a pint of one of their cask ales. At 9:00pm, I’d been invited to a trivia night at the Yarrow Hotel bar by my friend (and housemate) Tom Hall. I stopped by for a while, but left before the actual game began. Instead I headed down to Main Street to check out the New Frontiers party.

Paradise installation

The New Frontiers exhibits are all interactive and many feature some form of virtual reality. There was supposed to be a filmmaker party there tonight, but it was a cash bar and so it wasn’t quite the draw that, say, the Shorts Awards party was. Still, I got to see some interesting things (including an Oculus Rift immersive experience among yak herders!) and met up briefly with US Shorts FOC Meredith (who was out celebrating her birthday), her category volunteer Shayna, and Jamie, the FOC for Premieres. I also ran into Toronto film publicist Daniela Syrovy, which was nice.

I likely would have stayed out longer if I had bumped into Kevin or someone else male or closer to my age. Sometimes being conscious of being the “old man” is a bit socially crippling. The truth is, after a week here, I’m physically and mentally exhausted. I want to get the most out of the experience, and meet lots of people, but I’m not at my best. As an introvert, I feel like my social batteries are drained. And some social experiences, no matter how minor, can have a ridiculously magnified effect. This happened to me last year at Clermont-Ferrand, and again at the Sheffield Doc/Fest. It’s tough for me to come to these festivals alone, but I prefer to put myself into these uncomfortable situations rather than just sit at home in my apartment.

I didn’t see any films today, but I’m hoping to be able to see something tomorrow. If I can get up early enough, I have a good shot at one of the 9:00am screenings. We shall see. That’s early for me, and I’m really craving lots and lots of sleep right now. I’m also missing my cats, which is kind of surprising me. 🙂

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