Time to Start the Show! We're Back in Indie Heaven at Sundance 2014
by Alex Billington
January 16, 2014
We're back! Let's start the show! FirstShowing has returned to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival up in chilly Park City, UT for 10 days of the best in independent cinema. This is my 8th year in a row attending Sundance; I'm a veteran by now, yet I'm still so happy to be back. I genuinely love this fest and everything about it. From the snow to the town itself to the people/friends to the screening venues to the films and staff and volunteers and everyone/everything else inbetween. There's nothing like it, and I'm always anxious to arrive and start seeing films, hoping to discover multiple gems that deserve to break out to larger audiences.
Covering Sundance 2014 for FS.net are the regulars: myself, Alex, (constant updates @firstshowing) and Ethan (constant updates @ethan_anderton). As usual, we'll be posting reviews, video blogs, maybe a few interviews, in addition any other cool content we come across throughout the next 10 days here. Sundance 2014 officially kicks off today (January 16th) and runs all the way until January 26th, which is how long we'll both be here, catching many films every day non-stop for 10 days. It's always an exhausting, seemingly-never-ending journey to make it all the way to the end, but worth it to get the complete festival experience.
To kick things off, here's a quick look at Main Street where most of the festivities (and parties) take place during the festival. I'll be posting photos to my own Instagram account @abillington throughout the festival.
Last year in 2013, I hit my mark by seeing 30 films during the festival, something I haven't achieved since my very first year in 2007. There were a number of wonderful films we fell in love with: Before Midnight, The Kings of Summer (titled Toy's House in the festival), Fruitvale, The Spectacular Now, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, V/H/S/2 and a few others. Some of my all-time favorite Sundance films from years past include Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, Drake Doremus' Like Crazy, Marc Webb's 500 Days of Summer, David Michôd's Animal Kingdom, Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, Adam Elliot's Mary & Max, Max Mayer's Adam, Duncan Jones' Moon, Rodrigo Cortés' Buried, among many others. I always want to find films like these that thrill me, entertain me, and if possible, move me as well.
I love stumbling across great docs I've heard buzz about, I love being surprised by something I didn't expect, I love the experience when the entire audience goes wild for a film at its world premiere. These are the reasons why I always love returning to Sundance, in hopes of similar and, of course, unique experiences that I won't be forgetting. We already named our Top 11 Most Anticipated Sundance 2014 films earlier this week, but there's so many more yet to be discovered, yet to be seen, and I can't wait to start screening. So with that said, let's hope this turns out to be another incredible year of soon-to-be-classics, but for now it's time to toss on a jacket and head out into the cold for these first two screenings on Day 1 of Sundance 2014.