I couldn't get a steady wifi connection at this afternoon's Sundance Opening Press Conference at the Kimball Art Center, so here's my "live blog" ... an hour after the fact:
Geoffrey Gilmore (fesitval co-director and programmer), Nicole Hofcener (director of opening night film, Friends with Money) and Robert Redford (duh) take the stage. Geoff starts, and right away the agenda seems to be about proving that Sundance still has cred:
"It's a pleasure to have an opening night press conference, we haven't in the past. Fest in the 20th year, Institute in its 25th. People don't understand the merging of the institute and the festival. Truth is, it's really hard to talk abou the festival when you haven't seen the films yet...I can tell you that I think the fest is as independent as a festival we've done in years, but you'll be the judge of that."
He lists the numbers on this year's program:
84 world premires
48 first time featuremakers
102 films to be presented on digital projection (!)
(Only 41 shot on digital formats)
35 features by women - speaks to our diverstiy, speaks to what this festival is about
if the number of films being made in this country is any indication of the level of interest in independent cinema ... look at the diversity of the range of films that are at this festival.
Geoff wants to ask two things of the press: that we try not to talk about the films by reducing them to summary points, and that we hold your judgements about what the festival is, until we get through the festival, and that we try to see work we wouldnt ordinarily get a chance to see (obviously, that's three. Wonder which one he made up on the spot?)