We arrived in our fabulous Zermatt resort after traveling for more than 19 hours. This Swiss influenced resort (13miles from Park City away because you (I mean the average poor filmmaker) can’t afford normal accommodation prices there) overwhelmed us on their parking lot with incredible authentic 100db loud Alpine horn music. Although we were longing all for our beds the opening party in Park City was on schedule. So we pushed each other to attend the event. Before we picked up our ‘very important, all accessing” credentials from the festival headquarter. Tired we arrived at the party resulting in dancing till 1:30 am.
Though we should know better the next day we decided to go to the filmmakers welcome lunch by car. Never go to Park City by car during festival time. I took us hours to find a parking spot. Basically this car stood the the most of the time on the same spot because every night the self proclaimed driver was too drunk to go. So we supported the local cab entrepreneurs a little. At the late lunch Philip joined us and from that moment on the next 4 days were dissolving, in cometogethers, parties, panels, interviews, meetings and again parties. My calendar was never stuffed so much with appointments and events. We all became masters of RSVP’ing which means basically saying yes to invitations which constantly were incoming (though the calendar and every single timeslot was already packed before we arrived in Utah).
Our first screening (of 4) of MeTube was on Friday the 17th. The Redstone cinema was crowded and the short program (III) can be described as “diversity rules”. The questions of the Q&A after the screening were a little lazy (consider satisfying questions for 9 filmmakers standing before the audience, right after 100 minutes of stop and go. Of course the q&a becomes lazy). But the response on our film afterwards was immense. There was no day when not somebody approached us telling that they are stunned by MeTube. So this feeling accompanied our days in Parks City all the time. We met the British fabulous Will who is the director of “BEST” and his editor Louis. They fitted really well into our rsvp party crew.
A downturn was that the attending MeTube team became sick one by one except of me. First Martini, then Roli, Phil and Eugen. Maybe I didn’t get the flu coz my credential was blue or I wasn’t on the same plane like my colleagues. Who knows? BTW: Blue credentials. If you want to be well treated in Sundance you need to have a blue credential. So if you see some guy wearing it it is worth the thought to steal it coz the first thing people are looking at is this fucking plate you’ve hanged around your neck. Once a woman in Starbucks said “Oh you’re a director” and gave me a coffee for free! Never happened to me before at a franchise company.
There was a special event, which was just for the guys and gals with the blue cards. The invitation sounded something like “Robert Redford invites you to Director’s brunch”. On Saturday 18th we were collectively transported by bus to his own beautiful Sundance Resort (which is literally 1,5 hours away from Park City). In his rehearsal hall (I was said that some of the lab programs take place here) we got a delicious brunch and had the chance to talk to whoever was sitting next to you, directors, jury members, programmers but in the first hour not to the one and only Robert. As I thought about the fact that everybody is present but not the inviter I decided to go for a piss outside the building. And guess who I met on my way to the restroom. I was a little nervous when I shook his hand and telling awkwardly that I’m looking forward to meet him at the brunch. Since then I haven’t washed my right hand. (Now I’m sitting here in Clermont-Ferrand and writing thiswondering why I nobody sits next to me.)
The next milestone was the award ceremony on Tuesday 21st taking place in a bowling are. Though my ratio was telling me that MeTube couldn’t win anything on this festival coz it has not this emotional dramatic character arch every classical film uses, a little hope still was in my heart because of the unbelievable great response everybody was giving us.
We didn’t receive anything but the festival crew was well experienced in putting us in a bowling hall with free alcohol. We could drink our sorrows away while bowling. So everything could be worse right?
After it became quieter in Park City. Finally there was some time left to watch some interesting movies. I personally made it to 4 other screenings. I loved the film “Ping Pong Summer” (director Michael Tully) which is set into the 80ies and is basically carries the story of Karate Kid but with ping pong rackets. If you were growing up in the 80ies you’ll love it.
Lastly I want to shout out some proper words to the Sundance Crew. It was for all of us an amazing festival (I think 400-600 employees are working for the festival and approximately 2000 volunteers and this for 120 films including the 60 shorts). It has been the best festival I’ve ever visited because of different gifted opportunities you get a director. So thank you for that. Also I want to thank my funders who made this whole trip affordable. And last but not least thanks to August and my whole team who made this project possible.