Every year in mid January the busy mountain town of Park City becomes the “it” place for producers, actors, and movie lovers alike when the infamous Sundance Film Festival arrives to town. Originally founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, his founding goal was to create an environment designed to foster independence, discovery, and new voices in American film. Now one of the most well know festivals, both in America and abroad, the Sundance Film Festival is a showcase for new work from American and International Independent Filmmakers.
Last night I had the pleasure of meeting with the Sundance team, including John Cooper, Director of Sundance Film Festival, to hear about this years incredible line-up. How do I begin to talk about 116 films in 11 different categories with topics ranging from a hedge fund magnate who is desperately trying to sell his firm before they discover the fraud ( “Arbitrage” starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon) to the story of an openly gay bishop who refuses to leave the church or the man he loves (“Love Free or Die” by my friend!!!!! Macky Alston)? There are so many that I simply MUST see that I am going to prepare for a very busy 10 days. Once I put my list together I will share them on a separate blog post and plan on tweeting my way through Sundance. ( from the opening screening of ”The Queen of Versailles”, to the hottest ticket in town “The Artist at the Table” Dinner, (last year we sat with George Soros and Danny Glover) to all 15 ish films we plan on going to!
One particularly moving and controversial documentary that will be featured this year is titled “The Invisible War: A Film About the Epidemic of Military Sexual Assault and Rape” by filmmaker Kirby Dick. This films “is an investigative and powerfully emotional examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. Military, the institutions that cover up its existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it.” The statistics are staggering, in 2009 alone 16,000 women were assaulted. Furthermore, it was found that military women are more likely to be raped by a fellow solider than killed by enemy fire. This film is still in need to financing and it indeed an honor and a privilege to help. If you may be interested in supporting this work with a tax-deductible donation, please contact me at [email protected] For more facts on Women in the Military visit the fact page on my website.
Listening to the curators and project leaders talk about these films last night was a deeply moving experience. What was so clear is that they love all these films, and the filmmakers, and hope they find their audience. This was especially true for the documentary films. Having gotten recently involved with the producing of films ( “Ready to Fly” being my first one) I can tell you first hand the commitment that is involved with telling a great story. I truly believe in the power of films to advance social change. Supporting Sundance, by not only coming to the festival but by making a tax deductible donation, makes it possible for so many to do the work they were meant to do, and tell the stories that were meant to be told. Click here to make a donation and thank you.