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We asked Sundance directors five questions about their films
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD DIRECTOR BEHN ZEITLIN By Alexandra Byer

Pushing the boundaries of traditional filmmaking, Behn Zeitlin stands by his decision to make movies involving children, animals, and somewhat fantastical locations and environments. Lauded for his short, Glory at Sea, Zeitlin attends Sundance this year with his first feature-length film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Like Zeitlin's short, his feature debut takes place in Louisiana and aims to capture identifiable human emotions through the journey of a young girl. Read the Interview

THE FIRST TIME DIRECTOR JON KASDAN By Dan Schoenbrun

Sundance has a rich tradition of premiering great on-screen romances, as far back as Linklater's Before Sunrise in 1995, and more recently with Like Crazy, last year's Grand Jury Prize winner. Carrying this torch into the 2012 Festival is The First Time, the sophomore effort from director Jonathan Kasdan (In the Land of Women). A meditation on the excitement, anticipation, and unavoidable angst of young love, First Time stars Dylan O'Brien and Britt Robertson as star-crossed high school students drawn together over a single weekend. Read the Interview

We posed the question, "Why are you a filmmaker?"
KEEP THE LIGHTS ON CO-WRITER-DIRECTOR IRA SACHS It's not for nothing that we watch films in dark rooms, without the lights on. It's the most intimate of artistic mediums. When a film works, we feel a nearly physical connection to the actors we are watching, as if they are playing out our own lives on screen. I like films that are messy and imperfect, that are unable to fully contain all the life going on within them. Filmmakers like Cassavetes and Loach, Fassbinder and Pialat. The plot never rules the character. The actor might at any moment step outside the boundaries of the frame.Read more

ESCAPE FIRE DIRECTOR MATTHEW HEINEMAN I believe that documentary film has the ability to motivate, to inspire, and to help bring clarity to complicated issues in a way that other media cannot. Much of the traditional media attention on healthcare has focused on the partisan politics in our nation's Capitol--from the contentious passage of the Affordable Care Act to the ongoing polarized debate about its impact. There have been countless articles, news stories, blog posts, and tweets about this topic. And everybody in America, whether they like it or not, has been affected by our healthcare system in some way. Read More

FILLY BROWN DIRECTOR MICHAEL OLMOS For me, being a filmmaker - an explorer of stories - is about discovery and finding connections. Of recreating that magical life altering feeling you get when something that you where never aware of, suddenly enters your conscious mind, and completely rewires you - it is an all encompassing experience. It can happen on an emotional level or intellectual level, and it often causes a physical response - you cry, laugh, bend over in pain, whatever. Sometimes these discoveries where right in front of you, but you weren't open to seeing them. As a filmmaker you operate on so many levels simultaneously. Read More

IN THIS NEWSLETTER
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The First Time
Keep the Lights On
Escape Fire
Filly Brown
A Programmer's Persepctive
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
13 Films Premiere Digitally Via Sundance Artists Services
Prepping My Best Day
SUNDANCE BLOG & FEATURES
News, columns, and opinions straight from Park City
SUNDANCE EXPECTATIONS: A PROGRAMMER'S PERSPECTIVE By Tom Hall

This is my first year covering Sundance for Filmmaker Magazine, and the assignment has me thinking about things a little bit differently. As someone who has attended this festival in various capacities since 1998, I have a deep affection for the event itself, its geographic and organizational consistency and the persistence of its vision of a vital American independent filmmaking community. You'd be hard pressed to find a person who enoys film who has never heard of Sundance; the festival's identity is, for all intents and purposes, a brand, associated with certain types of films -- low-budget American indies, socially conscious documentaries, formally engaging short films.Read More

TERENCE NANCE, AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY By Alicia Van Couvering

Watching Terence Nance's Oversimplification Of Her Beauty is like being talked through the contents of a shoebox, each item another memento of The One That Got Away. Live action, animation, claymation reenactments, direct-to-camera address by him, on-camera interviews of her by him, blurry, amateur footage shot by her of him, all guided by a formally written voice over, delivered with somber, staccato clarity by an anonymous older man. Descriptions and depictions of other girls slide in and out of the narrative, intercut with shots of The One, whose name is Namik. Read More

13 FILMS PREMIERE DIGITALLY VIA SUNDANCE ARTIST SERVICES By Scott Macaulay

When Tom Noonan decided to title all his films beginning with the letter "W", he wasn't thinking of the digital era. I remember Tom explaining to me at the time that by calling his three features What Happened Was..., The Wife and Wang Dang they'd all naturally group together on the shelf at the local video store. Well, those video stores are near extinct, and now we have digital storefronts, VOD menus, and DIY distribution articles urging filmmakers to title their movies beginning with the letter "A" to ensure upfront placement. Read More
First-hand accounts by filmmakers

PREPPING MY BEST DAY FOR SUNDANCE By Erin Greenwell

If I had a child, I would name it Reel. Reel 2-pop Greenwell. Reel because breaking my movie in 15 minute reels has bought me time to work on one part the movie while the composer, sound mixer or color corrector is working on another. There is one more chance for every one to make it better before it goes off into the jaws of Sundance. 2-pop because if everyone gets the same reel with 2 frames of tone popping at the front of the reel and the back end of the reel- If those pops line up to the 2 frame title card that says START and END- all is well. Read more


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