Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 16th to 28th.
T-1 day until festival begins
Training at 10am today and I was excited to see a bunch of people I hadn’t seen since 2016. I also got to meet Priya, my Artist Relations Liaison. We’re working on a section that includes Indie Episodic, Spotlight, and a few special events. Strangely, for us the first weekend is pretty quiet, with most of our premieres happening in the early part of next week. At lunch, Darline and I went to my favourite nearby cheap place, Este Pizza, where I devoured two delicious pepperoni slices. Then it was off for a walkthrough of the brand new cinema, The Ray. They gutted an old sporting goods store and built a 500 seat cinema with Dolby Atmos sound. It’s impressive, and still smells new. In fact, there were still workers doing last minute stuff ahead of the festival’s opening.
More training at 4pm (on how to load in a film) and then helping Priya prepare all the filmmaker welcome packages. There are a lot of components: festival credential badges for multiple team members, tickets to their own premiere, vouchers for other films, invites for parties, vouchers for a Canada Goose down jacket (!) and other goodies. Starting tomorrow, our film teams will start arriving to check in and begin their festival experience, and we want to be prepared and make sure nothing’s missing.
Tonight was also the Volunteer and Staff Party, held at the headquarters of Skull Candy, who make headphones. I ended up hanging out with a lot of the volunteers I met on the shuttle ride up here. We even have a Facebook Messenger group, and we’re adding more people to it. It’s nice to have a group to hang out with when our schedules align. I went to the party with my roommate Jake, and introduced him to the shuttle group. Everyone had a great time, and I only drank my assigned three drinks, and was home and in bed by 12:30am. We took some fun photobooth photos (Ben, Adam T., Darline, and I) and I even bought some earbuds at 40% off on the way out.
A little bit of misadventure getting back from the party. When I got to my lodging, my keycard wouldn’t work in the door, so I had to walk a few minutes back to the 24-hour reception in the condo complex. The desk manager told me this always happens during Sundance, when one roommate uses the extra “security lock” switch on the door and then goes to bed. It required him to use a special override key to open the door. Jake and I got in, but had to give our other housemate Justus a bit of a lecture this morning. Hopefully it doesn’t happen to us again.