What part of your Sundance experience epitomized the festival for you?
Jeff Chamberlain, volunteer, Placerville (CA): I went to see this science fiction film, Advantageous and I tend to cry in films a lot but I was holding it together. And right at the end, there’s a scene when the mother reaches down to brush her daughter’s hair at the very end and just that touch at the very end—I started crying (Ed. note: Jeff starts crying). That’s what Sundance does to me. You get to see that stuff here.
Xander Brown, Penn student, Philadelphia (PA): The awards party: from the top A–list star to the up–and–coming director, everyone in the industry side made the films and the festival the focus of this week. It was so cool to experience Hollywood in that way. Everyone involved with these films was really accessible and willing to share their insights from the filmmaking experience.
Cash Knight, doorman at The Spur Bar & Grill, Park City: On Sunday, we had Andry Frasco playing live and I look up on stage and this very drunk young lady had started to take all of her clothes off on the stage, so we get her off to escort her out of the bar. Outsider, she gets very verbally confrontational and one of the mangagers at the door tells her she can’t go in. She swears back saying “you let me the fuck in the bar”, reaches back and slaps him. As serendipitous as it could possible be, two police offers walk around the corner as she does so and whisk her off to jail for the night.
Kevin Valaika, owner of Shabu Sushi Bar, Park City: Early in Sundance, the first day before we even opened, there was a Slamdance movie about Jake the Snake and pro wrestlers. So we had four professional wrestlers form the 80s come in here for four days in a row to eat a lot of fresh fish and sushi and stuff. It was Jake the Snake, the Destroyer, and these other 80s wrestlers that fought Hulk Hogan when he was a rookie.
Linzee Troubh, Head of Sales at Cinetic Media, New York City (NY): We’re working on this documentary called Tig about comedienne Tig Notaro, this really funny but emotional film. After the screening, the standing ovation was by far the best documentary screening I’ve ever been in (and this is my fifth Sundance). They all just went crazy and were so thrilled, it was a magical moment—I was crying.
Julie Young, Penn alum and associate producer at Emblematic Group, Los Angeles (CA): Because I associate produced a Virtual Reality film in the New Frontier category, we had to spend all day helping people get the glasses on and walk through a room. James Franco came in and my job was to keep him from running into walls!
Grace Kilbourne, local high school senior, Park City (UT): Sundance lets us do a petition about not having school during Sundance since we’re all late ever single day. It reminds me of how I used to stalk celebrities when I was in middle school.