I made an interesting observation during the credits for Zoe Cassavetes’ Broken English. Hidden deep into the credits within a Special Thanks area is the name Darren Aronofsky. For those of you who are not hip to the film culture, Aronofsky directed Pi, Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain. Why is this weird? Because Aronofsky is a 2007 Sundance Film Festival jury member. Is this a conflict of interest?
To be clear, Aronofsky is one of the judges for the Alfred P. Sloan Prize which carries a $20,000 cash award. While Cassavetes’ film can be be considered it probably won’t qualify. The award is designed to increase the visibility of outstanding independent films on science and technology as well as to showcase the work of emerging filmmakers tackling compelling topics within these fields. Broken English centers on mid-life relationships, and has little to no tech/science substance.
I have nothing against Sundance or Aronofsky (he’s actually one of my favorite directors). And I do understand that personal and professional politics plays into everything in the world.
But it’s an interesting question: Does Sundance check into personal politics of it’s selected jury vs. it’s selected films. Like the Academy Awards or Golden Globes (but to a much much lesser extent) a Sundance Award stamp on a movie’s poster or DVD cover can increase sales and attendance. So it’s not to be taken lightly.
If anyone knows anything about Sundance’s Jury selection policy regarding this I’d be interested to know Please post a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.