Sundance on Main Street

It has taken a day or two to recuperate from the intense whirlwind known as Sundance. No more screenings and no more open bars. However, the strangest thing about being back in Orange County is not seeing snow. I miss seeing the snow covered Park City.

I had the  opportunity to meet some amazing people and see some excellent films. While waiting in line one night I met a man who had been coming to Sundance for 10 years. He has no connections or ties to the industry or any film in particular, he just loves movies. After a few minutes of talking he asked me what my favorite movie was. I responded with Fargo. He laughed and said “oh yes Coen brothers, nice.” Then he asked me again, this time asking what my real favorite movie was. I smiled and replied, Dirty Dancing. I later ran into him at the airport, he waved and said, “Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

As corny or cliche it may sound, Sundance reinstated my faith in film/cinema as an art form. The films screened at Sundance were selected out of thousands for a reason. In general these films are well made, have a story to tell, something to teach, or at the very least made the viewer cry or laugh. The energy, excitement, and sincerity you feel from the first time directors/screenwriters is undeniable. I saw it happen more than once; a director would make his way to the stage, gaze out at the standing ovation, and they were in tears and literally speechless.

Judging from the films I saw and recommendations from friends and strangers, I have complied a list of a few Sundance favorites to keep a lookout for, which are listed below. And as Little Miss Sunshine, Garden State, and Napoleon Dynamite proved, popularity at Sundance can make films very successful after the festival.

Dramatic Competition: