Sundance 2020: Day 4

Kareem Tausch and Cristina Costantini, Directors of Mucho Mucho Amor

Festival Director James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 21st to February 2nd.

Festival Day 2

This was a very long day. Up at 6am to get to the Prospector Theatre for a second screening of Shorts Program 1 at 8am. Not much for us to do really, so we got over to HQ by about 9am. Then just an hour later, I was back to Prospector on my own to cover a “short before feature” screening. Our short film The Shawl was screening before the documentary feature Mucho Mucho Amor, which is co-directed by Kareem Tabsch, the boyfriend of my old friend Ernie Hsiung. I met Ernie way back in 2001 at SXSW Interactive, and we hadn’t see each other for maybe 10 or 12 years. It was also lovely to meet Kareem in person for the first time since we’d only been Facebook friends up to this point. Both the short and feature were fantastic. That’s a picture of directors Kareem Tabsch and Cristina Costantino above, wearing original Walter Mercado capes. You can also see Dusty Childers in the background, one of the subjects of The Shawl. I grabbed a volunteer ticket and sat through the film, which isn’t always possible. But as a result, I didn’t really take any lunch break, subsisting on HQ snacks and coffee until 5:30pm, when we had to head out to Redstone for the first of three back-to-back shorts screenings.

Redstone is an unusual venue in that it’s a multiplex and quite far from the other venues in Park City, so they don’t hold any premieres there, although these were technically first screenings so we needed to be there. Shorts Program 2 (6:30pm), Animation Spotlight (7pm), and Shorts Program 3 (9:30pm), with a break in between for our shorts team to eat at Ghidotti’s, a nice Italian restaurant right next to the cinema. Then we were picked up by our Artist Relations driver (who also drove us out to Redstone, a welcome change from last year) and driven to Prospector for the premiere of the Midnight Shorts program at 11:30pm. Our press line finished around 11:15pm and Terry let me sneak out a few minutes early so I could catch a shuttle back to Deer Valley. I was home just before midnight. Excluding my 90 minute break to see a film, I worked 14 hours today. So I’ll stop there and get some sleep. Tomorrow is a pretty busy day for us as well, but at least I don’t need to report to HQ until 9am.

p.s. I had a nice conversation with one of the shorts programmers tonight and got a bit more insight into their process.

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