Sundance 2020: Day 12

Festival Director James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 21st to February 2nd.

Festival Day 10

Saturday meant I was back to work again, on the Awards Ceremony and Party. This year I was able to avoid being in the early group which meant that I could meet up with Terry and Bryan for lunch at Anaya’s Market. We met at HQ at 1:30pm and then walked over. I ordered a burrito but realized I wouldn’t be able to eat it all. I’d bought a one pound container of mac and cheese from the Deer Valley Grocery Cafe the day before and, not wanting to waste it, ate it as a late breakfast. Nevertheless, the burrito was tasty and great value, and Anaya’s Market has quickly become one of my favourite places to eat in Park City. Hopefully the Sundance masses don’t discover it.

After lunch, we went back to HQ to await our 3:15pm pickup to go to the Basin Auditorium in Kimball Junction. We already gave out all of our awards on Tuesday night and most of our teams had gone home, so there wasn’t really much for us to do. We sort of watched the entrance for any of our teams (three or four were attending) and then were able to go inside when the ceremony began. There was no host this year, but the juries and some Sundance staff were onstage. It was John Cooper’s last year as Executive Director, and he performed an inspired lip sync and dance to “Last Dance” accompanied by some dancers. Then they announced longtime Documentary Program director Tabitha Jackson as his replacement, and the whole audience erupted in cheers and rose to their feet. I don’t know her, but I am certain the festival has been passed into very capable hands.

After the ceremony concluded, the Artist Relations volunteers carried out our traditional chair clearing and stacking duties so that the seated area could be transformed into the dance floor. After that, we took off our walkies for the last time and got to enjoy the party.

I took some photos with people, shared drinks and conversations, and walked around until about 12:30pm and then just took a shuttle home. There was talk of an afterparty somewhere but I really wasn’t all that interested. That’s not to say that I didn’t have a fine time. When people asked me how my festival was this year, I responded that somehow it felt easier. Of course my eyesight is better, but I just think doing it five times makes it easier to budget my time and energy.

The above photo was taken by Maya Ochoa, one of our new Artist Relations Volunteers this year. From left to right, front row first, there’s James McNally (me!), Gabe Figueroa, Maya Ochoa, Victoria Sardaby, Veronica Medina-Matzner, Sreb Noeva, (back row) Jess Kincaid, Fabiola Bonnot, and Marci Manklow.