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Sundance 2019: Day 7

Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 22nd to February 3rd.

Festival Day 5

First of all, if I met you at the festival-filmmaker “speed dating” event at Slamdance this afternoon, welcome! The site doesn’t always look like this. You can click here to see what our festival programming looked like in 2018.

I got into HQ by around 10:00am this morning and it was very quiet. This is what the rest of the week will be like. I wanted to put in a few hours’ work before noon, when I headed out to the Windy Ridge Cafe for the Telefilm Canada luncheon. There I met up with my friend Mike Lane, a film editor from Toronto. He’s here without a smart phone so we’ve arranged a few meetings by email. I met a few other Canadians, including an actor from the Slamdance film Happy Face, Hot Docs director Shane Smith, Toronto film critic Jason Gorber, and producer Kristy Neville (from SNP selection Her Friend Adam, among many other projects). I saw the teams from Fast Horse, Throat Singing in Kangirsuk (who did some actual throat singing) and Docking but didn’t get to talk to them. The event was two hours long and it seemed to go by very quickly.

I was back in the office from 2:00pm until 4:00pm, when I left for another event. Josh Leake, director of the Portland Film Festival, had put together a great event bringing together festivals (mostly from the Film Festival Organizers group on Facebook) and filmmakers (mostly from Slamdance). It was a really intense but fun session, and I gave away lots of Shorts That Are Not Pants stickers. I also won a great raffle prize, $500 of equipment rental from Eventive, the ticketing platform we already use for our festival. It was nice to meet Eventive’s founder Iddo Patt, as well.

I had to run off at 7:00pm to meet Bobby at the Egyptian for our last premiere, the short film Those Bad Things, which was preceding the Uruguayan feature film The Sharks. During the load-in, a nice woman asked me where the jury seats were and it took me a little while to realize that it was Jane Campion.

Bobby and I were starving, and so as soon as the film started, we stopped at The Spur, just a few doors away on Main Street, where I thoroughly enjoyed a plate of chicken wings. It’s midnight as I wrap this up, and I’m exhausted. Most of the hard work is done now, with just the Shorts Awards tomorrow night left. It’s a big event for us to work, but also kind of a finish line. I plan to enjoy myself excessively. 🙂