The Sundance Film Festival is the mecca of American film festivals. I’m not sure you can understand how important it is for a first time independent filmmaker to get his film into Sundance unless you are one — it is almost anything. Sundance has launched the careers of filmmakers like Darren Aronofsky, Kevin Smith, Jared Hess, Catherine Hardwicke, Morgan Spurlock, David O. Russell, Bryan Singer and Quentin Tarantino.
The life of a Film Festival programmer isn’t glamorous. Most of the year is spent watching piles of submitted films, most of which probably suck. But for a couple days each year Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival and Director of Creative Development for Sundance Institute John Cooper gets to pick up his phone and change the life of a bunch of aspiring filmmakers. I can’t imagine what making that call must be like. It’s the indie film equivilent of winning the publisher’s clearing house sweeepstakes. I think so of the final Sundance filmmakers have been called in the rounds leading up to the final decision, so the call isn’t as out of the blue as you might expect. Watch the video below as Cooper calls Dare director Adam Salky and We Live in Public director Ondi Timoner to inform them of the big news.
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