January 19th, 2013

Sundance 2013 – Sunny Skies Ahead!

Posted By Neil Matsumoto

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17 through the 27th.

So far the weather in Utah is fantastic with beautiful sunny skies and not a cloud in sight. (Last year’s blizzard made this LA driver absolutely petrified driving the icy I-80 freeway from Salt Lake City to Park City.)

As you probably know, Sundance 2013 kicked off Thursday and will run through the 27th. Instead of just one opening night film, Sundance 2013 opens with Day One, which is five screenings that presents both a narrative and a documentary from each of the U.S. and World Cinema competitions, along with the shorts program.

The festival, which has been running since 1978, is still THE “show” for indie filmmakers. Although the media hype has subsided in recent years due to the rise of social media and video sharing websites, the festival still draws nearly 50,000 attendees to the small resort town of Park City.

This year, around 4,000 feature films were submitted with 119 selected. For the first time, half of the films featured were made by female directors.

On the doc front, we got to see a number of non-narrative films on diverse figures such as Steve Jobs, Dick Cheney and Jeremy Lin. jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, is the Closing Night film of the festival.

To broaden its reach, Sundance expands its program to audiences around the country with Sundance Film Festival USA. Films and filmmakers are sent to 10 cities, including Ann Arbor, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicaco, Los Angeles, and more, to show their films and take part in Q&As. This has been a very smart effort that festival director John Cooper has taken.

65 shorts were selected for the festival (out of a staggering 8102 submissions). And if you can’t make it down to Park City or do not live in one of the ten cities for Sundance USA, once again Sundance is putting 12 of it’s 65 shorts online on their own YouTube channel. To view, check out http://www.youtube.com/ytscreeningroom.

Keep checking back to the site for more film profiles and panel discussions. Now, I must watch some movies.

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