The air was crisp and refreshingly cold, a welcoming change from the LA and Puerto Rico humid weather, yet nothing prepared us for the panoramic view of massive mountains powdered with fresh snow. For the locals it’s just their everyday setting, but for us Sundance rookies it was a thrilling discovery at the beginning of a long, movie filled day.
After a 30 minute drive through the endless mountains, we made it to Park City’s main street. The town was calm, preparing for the busy schedule of the afternoon but Film Festival signs and walls filled with movie posters indicated we were at the right place.
Our first mission was searching for the press passes, our key to premieres and possible interviews with some of the stars. After mistaking locations and eventually finding our sense of direction, we were warmly received by the Festival’s volunteers, the true spirit and engine of the event. We got our passes, complimentary Chap Stick, water bottles and even an HBO Documentary hat. Not a bad start.
The first film on our list was Strangerland, an Australian drama by director Kim Farrant starring Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes. Set in an isolated town in Australia, a family attempts for a fresh start when the couple’s two children go missing, forcing them to relive their disturbing past and have it be known by the entire town.
It is a gripping film with an exceptional performance by Nicole Kidman, playing the mother and the pillar of the entire story as the audience discovers her inner struggles and her desperation to find her children. Highly recommend it!
Sundance does not give you time to recuperate. It’s a ‘go, go, go!’ mentality but that’s part of the adventure. With only a couple of minutes to grab some water and stretch our legs, we made our way to the biggest challenge of our day: a red carpet event for the worldwide premiere of Don Verdean.
It was a challenge but we managed to talk to some great people like Jared Hess, director and co-writer of Don Verdean and Napoleon Dynamite. We also got a word in with some of the stars like the great Sam Rockwell and the always funny Danny McBride. These guys are no newbies to Sundance, so they gave us great tips for places to eat like Purple Sage, a cozy restaurant that makes killer blue cheese fondue and Zoom for a fantastic brunch (and some deluxe mac and cheese).
We were feeling like a bunch of party animals living it up until 5 in the morning, but in reality we were just some film buffs and it was only 8 o clock in the evening. Young, wild and free right?
We fueled up with some beef and chicken tacos at Alberto’s before our Sundance piece de resistance… True Story which featured at 9:45. The movie has been the talk of the festival for the past week and even though we were tired, we knew we couldn’t miss it.
True Story stars the comedy buddies James Franco and Jonah Hill but in a way no one has ever seen them. Taking on a more dramatic role based on real life events, Hill plays a New York Times reporter, Mike Finkle, who has lost credibility as a writer when he mixed the facts of a feature story. Franco plays an accused murdered who took up Finkle’s identity when he was hiding out. Unable to resist knowing why this man felt the need to pretend to be him, Finkle starts visiting him in prison, finding similarities with this man, questioning the accusations and trying to find out the truth of what really happened.
It was a chilling experience, seeing Franco as this calmed and collected accused murderer. Their interactions are excellent elevated by an intense score. It is a must see and a true game changer for these actors’ careers.
To get the full experience click on the video above to watch our entire day & celebrity interviews!