I was given the unique opportunity to attend Sundance Film Festival this past week with 8 other students and 2 professors in order to study filmmaking by watching 11 films, attending numerous panels, and engaging with the culture of the independent film industry.
During my time at Sundance, the power and depth of story was revealed to me, inspiring me to push the limits of my own perspective and craft. My vocabulary for discussing story and its impact on an audience was enhanced as I allowed myself to be an unbiased viewer by not studying the films' hype before seeing them and then comparing my experience to others' afterward as well as conversing with the directors face to face.
My Sundance experience consisted of films like: Hellion, Blind, Little Accidents, Cesar's Last Fast, Camp Xray, White Shadow, Frank, Web Junkie, and Ida. In addition, we also saw several Slamdance films such as Little Hope was Arson, The Big House, and White Earth.
I was exposed to the wisdom and experience of many filmmakers, famous and not, and allowed to meet anyone and everyone on an equal playing field. The intensive experience not only grounded me on the films I hope to make, but also gave me ideas about how to go about making them. I am thankful for the openness of those who poured into me at the festival. They are mentorships I hope to maintain for the entirety of my career.
Sundance was an incredible experience, the Disney World of filmmakers. I hope to attend next year via a different perspective, perhaps as a volunteer. And maybe one day, as a presenting filmmaker.