Thursday, February 2, 2012

Final Thoughts from Our Man in Utah/Final Ballots in the Mail

Good Morning.

Sundance 2012 is in the books.  The three titles that emerged that seem to be the most intriguing: "The Surrogate", "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "The Words".

Our man in Utah who had the front row seat, Gant Lee of Cinema Bebop files his final report at:

I have reproduced it here:

Sundance 2012 Recap!
After a fun vacation in the mountains, life sped up and kept me from doing this. Even though I’m still busy, I’ve found the time to write this quick little bit full of goodies.
Taking home the big one is Beasts of the Southern Wild. It picked up the highest ranking award for dramatic films, the Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic. This really came as no surprise here. During my stay in Park City, I heard a lot of great things about this film, but I tried my hardest to stay away from too much info. At one point, I even stood in line for 4 hours to get a ticket into the film (with no success). The film got picked up by Fox Searchlight and will presumably be hitting theaters sometime later this year.
Taking home the Grand Jury Prize, Documentary was The House I Live In. The film is about the “war on drugs” and the way we view it. I’ve heard it’s quite gripping and oh, by the way, Danny Glover is an executive producer. It hasn’t been picked up yet for distribution, but I’m sure that it will given its award and positive responses.
A list of all of the awards can be found here ——->
Simon Killer 8/10
The Comedy 7/10
Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie 8.5/10
Room 237 9/10
L 5.5/10
Red Lights 4.5/10
Wrong 6/10
Indie Game: The Movie 7.5/10
Smashed 9/10
I wasn’t unhappy to sit through any of these screenings. I may not care to sit through 2-3 of them again for a very long time, but it was a fun time nonetheless.
1) Independent film is great. In some instances, you can argue that the independent filmmaker is more creative and has the ability to do whatever they want. They answer to themselves, not a studio. What you get at Sundance is a truly unique and eclectic group of films and filmmakers that are trying to cater to a number of different audiences, not just one wide audience. This makes every film seem less generic and more original. This is the Mecca of independent film and I love it.
2) Volunteers are so helpful. In their instantly recognizable orange jackets, you could ask them just about any question about the festival and they will have the answer for you or they will know somebody who knows the answer. For every one nice person that approaches a volunteer, there are about 3 people who aren’t nice. The volunteers don’t get enough credit when it comes to running the festival. They have some really great crowd control skills and they’re doing it for free, out of the goodness of their hearts. I didn’t say “thank you” to them enough…
3) Next time, I will purposefully try to go see films that have not been picked up for distribution. There are plenty of great films that go through there that somebody may never see. I don’t want to miss out on those in favor of something I can see in theaters 6 months later. After missing both The Surrogate and Beasts of the Southern Wild at the end of one day, I decided to go to guaranteed screenings. The festival is more fun that way.
I would like to give a shout out to my mom for going with me to Park City. It was fun having her with me and talking about the films that we had seen. I wouldn’t have been there in Park City or blogging right now without her. So thank you Liz Lee!
Next, I want to thank Michael Patterson for promoting my writing on his Telluride film blog. If you wanna check out awards season talk or anything regarding Telluride, visit his website at He’s great and very rich with information!
Lastly, I want to thank my readers for reading me! I can track how many times my links have been read, and I know there are a few of you! So thank you for your continued support. I really appreciate it.
I’ll try making it back here every once in awhile to fill everybody in on details concerning future Sundance dealings and happenings. Until next time!


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has the final Oscar ballots in the mail as of yesterday afternoon.  They must be returned no later than Feb. 21st at 5p.m.  The Oscars are Feb. 26th.

To my Academy member acquaintances...I well...with great ballots come great responsibility!


Follow me on Twitter @Gort2

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