The Sundance Experience By: Kristina Slavich

Looking back at the festival, it’s sort of crazy to think that I saw so many films in such a short amount of time. But I am so glad that I was able to have this experience. There were so many films that I really enjoyed watching and truly was amazed by the acting and cinematography. It was one of the coolest experiences and I am so glad I was able to take this class.

One of the films that I had really wanted to see throughout the festival was Me, Earl, And the Dying Girl. I had heard such great things about the film and was anxious to see if I could try and get a ticket. After a few failed waitlist attempts, I was really excited to learn that the film won in the US Dramatic competition and would therefore be screening on Saturday night. Megan, Devin, and I arrived early, excited that this was the film that had won. Not to my surprise, Me, Earl, And the Dying Girl was nothing short of incredible. The movie was about a high school boy who by the request of his mom, befriends a fellow classmate with leukemia. A friendship between the two quickly develops and they become inseparable. The touching story looks at a high schooler’s perspective on life and the meaning of friendship. The cast was great and the film itself was quite funny at times but also really moving. In addition, the storyline was executed flawlessly with the audience laughing at every joke and crying at the pivotal moments. It was the last film that I saw at the festival and was definitely my favorite as well. I feel so grateful that I was able to attend the festival and definitely want to try and go back sometime in the future.photo 1 photo 2

Since this festival has begun, I have seen some really interesting and thought provoking films. One of my favorites so far is the film Brooklyn directed by John Crowley. Megan and I were on the wait list for this film and thankfully were a few of the last people to get in. It was the world premiere and it was absolutely incredible. Everything from the acting to the storyline was portrayed really well. Brooklyn is a story of a young Irish girl who becomes torn between two different boys, one being in America and the other a boy from her hometown in Ireland. It shows the internal struggle that she faces as she tries to figure out where she belongs. Overall it was very charming and a heart warming film.

Another film that I saw that I really enjoyed was the documentary How to Dance in Ohio. This film was about kids with autism and the struggles that they face in everyday life and social gatherings such as attending a formal dance. It gave a very touching portrayal of how hard daily interactions with people could be and looked at how hard they worked at their social skills. I think that the film was very authentic and is one that I would most definitely recommend. It really made the audience feel connected to the cast and some of the struggles that they faced. Over the course of the festival, I have been able to see quite a list of incredible films but this one in particular won me over.

The Start of the Festival

Two days ago, I landed in the beautiful but cold Park City, Utah. Since our class arrived, I have been able to explore Main Street a little bit and love the energy and excitement in this small town environment. It has been really neat to explore the Sundance lodges, see celebrities walking around, and getting free food and coffee. I mean what could be better than free coffee? One of the lounges that Devin, Megan, and I visited was the Sundance TV lounge. Not only did we have some tasty food but also received free tickets to go see the premiere of the film, True Story.

I have also started to figure out how the wait list process works for the films. After having anxiety over not getting into a few of the films I wanted, I finally got a number for the film Wild Tales on Saturday night. The film was spilt up into six different short stories that all had the common theme of revenge. I would definitely recommend the film as it was very comical and dramatic. I also stayed for the panel which was interesting because we got hear about how the director came up with the various story lines and how it all came together. The next film that I got on the wait list for was The Overnight which was playing at the Prospect Theater. I didn’t really know what to expect but the film was hilarious. The dialogue between the characters was really entertaining which made it great. Since I have had such a positive experience so far, I am really excited about all the upcoming films on my list!