Sundance 2019: Day 5

Filmmakers of short film Hot Dog
The ridiculously photogenic team from Hot Dog

Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 22nd to February 3rd.

Festival Day 3

Bobby let me go straight to our first screening venue this morning, allowing me to sleep in a little bit. I met him at 10:30am at the historic Egyptian Theatre on Main Street, where we were presenting the premiere screening of Documentary Shorts Program 1. We just had one filmmaker, Marcin Polar from Poland, premiering his short film The Tough. It was also a mini-Hot Docs reunion as I ran into both Charlotte Cook (now at Field of Vision) and Sarafina Defelice (now at Netflix). Speaking of Netflix, Ted Sarandos was in attendance to watch the final short in the lineup, Life Overtakes Me which will air on Netflix soon.

From there we headed back to HQ to figure out the next few days. I got away for lunch at Este Pizza again and then we headed out at 4pm for the premiere screening of Shorts Program 5 at the Temple Theatre. Another smooth experience with the team there and I was off on my own back to the Egyptian to accompany the team from Hot Dog as their short premiered before the feature film Premature. This team were a lot of fun at checkin and they were even more fun tonight. They were originally slated to just get a photo or two after the feature film’s press line but because they arrived early, we were able to take a lot of team and director photos. It helps that everyone on the team is incredibly photogenic and they were stylishly dressed. Only the directors had tickets for the screening though, and the rest of the team asked if they could stand at the back and watch just their short. I politely made the request to the theatre manager and he was gracious enough to allow it, which made the whole team happy.

I arrived pretty early for that screening and wandered around a very crowded Main Street for a while. I even went into the Treasure Mountain Inn to check out some of the Slamdance festival stuff, but I didn’t stay long. I don’t really enjoy the crowded and commercial aspect of Sundance, which is centred on Main Street.

I made a much-needed stop at Fresh Market and was home by 10pm. And I don’t need to go in that early to HQ tomorrow. Our schedule is starting to lighten up, and that feels good. It makes for more relaxed work, and better interactions with our filmmakers. It’s really gratifying to see them enjoying their Sundance experience.

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