Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Written by Amanda Salazar

Three days left until the kick off of Sundance Film Festival 2009. Three days to soak in this beautiful Southern California weather. Three days to pack every warm piece of clothing I have, three days to catch up on sleep, and three days left to prepare my schedule of films.

This will be my first trip to the festival. If it is as crazy as everyone keeps telling me, I am slightly frightened, but definitely excited. I keep getting advice from anyone that has attended on what to expect, but even with all of this preparation, I am anxious to finally get to Park City.

Since I can remember, it has been a dream of mine to go to Sundance. It is hard to explain why, but as a film-school graduate and genuine lover of movies, it has become this engrained desire to make it to the small city to watch the films and mingle with filmgoers like myself.

With everything that I have been told, apparently this year it will be a different Sundance — reflecting our economic state. But then again, I have nothing to compare it to. Perhaps there will not be as many vendors, or free gifts, or fancy parties. But the films are there; in fact with over 3600 features submitted to the festival, the program will go on.

Last night’s Golden Globe ceremony proved that this might be another year for the independent filmmaker. Slumdog Millionaire won big, taking home four awards, including Best Dramatic Picture and Best Director for Danny Boyle. Another underdog picture and actor, Mickey Rourke won the award for Best Actor in a Drama for The Wrestler. With indies taking top awards, this could be foreshadowing for what is to come and what is to be picked up by the distributors, making Sundance even that more exciting.

Luckily, being that I will already be in Park City, I will also be attending films and events at Slamdance. This film festival will be in its 15th year and it is a festival that works with first-time independent filmmakers. Again this will be another first and I can’t wait to tell you more about my experiences at both.

Basically, I am so excited that I might pee myself. For the next few weeks, I will be writing about what it is really like from someone that has just entered the film industry, as a first-timer that simply wants to share with others that truly love this industry. Paired with reviews of films that I have seen, I hope to document everything that is Sundance and Slamdance- from films to parties to music and everything in between.

In my final days before I leave I would like to congratulate the filmmakers that are showing their films. For those that are attending, I will see you there. In just three days, my dream will come true. Man, that feels great.

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