From Sundance – Part I
I arrived in Park City, Utah this afternoon. I met up with Ben Dudley, Mike Fullerton, other Fuller students, as well as people from other universities. It was great connecting with some of the people who set up this immersive class and made it possible for us to experience Sundance in such a unique way. Will Stoller-Lee is the director of the Windrider Film Forum, hosted by the Priddy Brothers, and has done a much to make Sundance an enjoyable experience for us. Kutter Callaway has made the online experience a pleasant one. I look forward to reading his dissertation called “Hearing Images” where he talks about music in films. And Craig Detweiler our professor is an inspiring guy who loves film and encourages people to live their dreams. It was great meeting each of these guys face to face.
After getting settled and having a dinner, hosted by Mountain Vineyard Christian Fellowship, we had the opportunity to hear from Jeff Sparks, the President and CEO of Heartland Film Festival that takes place annually in Indianapolis. He was presented with the 2011 Spirit Windrider Award, and afterwards participated in an interesting panel discussion that was moderated by Dick Staub about films as well as what it takes for films to make it into festivals. During the evening events, we were able to watch The Butterfly Circus, a short film directed by Joshua Weigel and written by Joshua Weigel and his wife Rebekah. While this film was not part of the Sundance selections, it has been in 25 different film festivals and won 15 different awards. It has been viewed by nearly 10 million people worldwide, and is being made into a full length feature. It was a great way to start off our time here. You can watch it yourself here on Vimeo.
After what will probably be a fascinating morning with our class tomorrow, I’ll watch some of my first Sundance Films. I’m hoping to post my thoughts about each film I watch in the evenings. Ben, Mike and I have an amazing host family. We are staying in a mansion of a house, literally. This place is amazing. It has 6 bathrooms, over a dozen different rooms and an amazing view. Maybe tomorrow I can post some pictures. It hasn’t even been a full day yet, and I’ve been blessed.