Sundance 2019: Day 8

Sundance Shorts Awards 2019

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

Festival Day 6

Today was mostly spent preparing for the big Shorts Awards party. I spent a few hours in the office, but then went home from 4:00-6:00pm for a nap. My job at the party was to man the “resolution desk” and handle any issues, usually last minute requests for more tickets or people who had “lost” their tickets. Compared to past years, everything went smoothly and I was inside enjoying myself just as the awards ceremony got underway. Three of our international films won awards, though the overall Jury Prize winner wasn’t able to attend. Here are the awards:

  • Grand Jury Prize – Aziza (Dir: Soudade Kaadan)
  • Jury Award: US Fiction – Green (Dir: Suzanne Andrews Correa)
  • Jury Award: Non-Fiction – Ghosts of Sugar Land (Dir: Bassam Tariq)
  • Jury Award: International Fiction – Dunya’s Day (Dir: Raed Alsemari)
  • Jury Award: Animation – Reneepoptosis (Dir: Renee Zhan)
  • Special Jury Award for Direction – Fast Horse (Dir: Alexandra Lazarowich)
  • Special Jury Award for Direction – The Minors (Dir: Robert Machoian)

The venue was new this year, the Utah Film Studios, and we were using one of their three soundstages. They had two food trucks parked inside, along with pool tables and pinball machines and arcade games.

I was able to circulate for a while, giving out extra drink bracelets to our film teams, and making sure everyone was having a good time. I had a good conversation with Alma Buddicke, the director of Hot Dog. Her film team were one of the most fun to work with this year.

Sometime around midnight, Bobby and Sophie (the Artist Relations Liaison for US Documentary and Midnights) grabbed me and said we were leaving to go to another party. A short Lyft ride later, we were at a house near the Library Theatre, where the Rooftop Films team were hosting a small party. I saw my TIFF/Hot Docs friend Dorota Lech, and finally met someone I’ve been Facebook friends with for ten years but hadn’t yet met. Danielle DiGiacomo does acquisitions for The Orchard, and is a New Yorker transplanted to LA. We may be able to meet up when I’m there next week. I also met Rooftop artistic directo Dan Nuxoll and spent a lot of time talking to Maria Rhodes, their Festival and Programming Coordinator. They’ve been doing amazing work in New York City for more than twenty years and I’m desperate to actually attend a screening (the one I did attend in 2013 was eventually rained out).

I didn’t leave until nearly 3:00am but luckily I had only about a five minute walk to get home.

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