Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 19th to 31st.
Festival Day 4
Our last day of shorts program premieres today. I had to be in at HQ before 8:00am, though, to take care of a ticket request for one of our film teams. Then it was up to the Redstone multiplex again for the press line for the Animation Spotlight program. They’d already had their first screening last night but because of yesterday’s Directors’ Brunch (with Robert Redford!) which took place about half an hour away at the Sundance Resort, they pushed any press lines until today’s screenings.
We left very quickly after the programmer’s introduction to get back to the Prospector, where Shorts Program 5 was premiering. The screening right ahead of us was the feature documentary Eagle Huntress, which featured the presence of two huge live eagles as part of the post-screening Q&A. I’d never before been aware of what an “eagle diaper” was but it was a phrase I got to hear over the radio.
There was barely time for a breath after that screening before we had to rush down to Main Street where we were hosting a short filmmakers’ reception at the Sundance TV Lounge. We were supposed to be working the door with a guestlist, but Celine and I (the category volunteers) ended up arriving several minutes late for the 4:00pm start time due to shuttle delays. International Shorts FOC Corrine was holding down the fort, but it quickly grew confusing since there were a few different guestlists in play. In the end, Corrine sent us in to enjoy ourselves and the venue didn’t exceed its capacity, so we could be a bit liberal with our door policy.
That marked the official end of my working day so I enjoyed a few beers, and talked to a few of my heroes, including Don McKellar and the Zellner Brothers (David and Nathan). I also spoke to Colin Geddes, TIFF’s Midnight Madness programmer. He was hosting an event for Shudder (a horror streaming service available in the US) later that night at the same venue. I had tried to help him with a last-minute logistics request and was happy to be included on the guestlist for the party, which featured a performance by King Woman, a band I’d been hearing great things about.
I went home after the shorts party for a badly-needed nap and then headed out to meet Jackie around 9:30pm. We got into the party early and met up with my FOC Kevin. A few of our film teams (especially from the Midnight Shorts section) were also there. The band set up right in front of us and it was pretty great being literally inches away from singer Kristina Esfandiari. Kevin and I were definitely into the doomy metal stylings of the band, though I’m not sure about the rest of the crowd, whose lack of applause could just have been indifference. Jackie and I had some silly fun with the photobooth, though I will definitely not be sharing any of those photos here.
I think I got home sometime after 2:00am with a plan to get up again at 6:00am. These 8:00am Film Office shifts aren’t so much fun right now.