Sunday, December 06, 2009

Independent Film No More

"Sundance unveils complete lineup:
New films directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Winterbottom, Nicole Holofcener and Joel Schumacher, and starring such thesps as Ben Affleck, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds and Adrien Brody, mark the lineups of the Premieres, Midnight and other noncompetitive sections of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival"

This was the headline and intro tag in Variety for the annual Sundance announcement of entrants. Last year I already knew a few days ahead of time that But A Dream didn't get in, so there really isn't any suspense for submitters by Dec 1st, 2nd or 3rd, when the announcement is usually made. This year I was about to check to see if any friends or acquaintances have anything going to Park City. Over the past ten years, I've known at least one such filmmaker every year. I'm always happy for them.
I don't really have a problem with the fact that Sundance has grown over the years. Or that the names mentioned above have films in the festival. What I find troublesome is that Sundance remains the holy grail for indie filmmakers. It ain't what it used to be folks. I was just talking to a friend that does post- down in Austin the other day and he was telling me how he's on hold for a bunch of projects that were waiting to see if they got into Sundance before they hired him to do a final color grade on their projects. Probably better off buying lottery tickets. Unless of course, you're connected and your film gets seen by the people that matter instead of those that view the general population mountain of submissions. It isn't rigged or unfair. It just tends to work out better for submissions when you get that email or call asking you if you have a submission this year than when you send it in at the deadline.
I'm probably more bitter than I'd like to admit. In any case, I'm glad to be out of the game.

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