Success Stories from Sundance 2012


With my volunteer application officially submitted for Sundance 2013, all that’s left to do is wait and reminisce. There were two success stories that left reignited my faith in independent film on my way home from Park City.

I’ve been told over and over again that a good short film can be an emerging director’s calling card in this industry. This proved true for filmmaker Cutter Hodierne. His short film, FISHING WITHOUT NETS, won the Grand Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at Sundance and recently received $200,000 in grants from the Sundance Institute and Cinereach. They’re turning it into a feature so you should definitely check out the original short HERE.

Whenever I hear the name Spike Lee, I immediately think of the lyrics by notable bard LL Cool J: “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years”. Since the world premiere at Sundance, RED HOOK has had quite the journey. The film received some of the most polarizing reviews I’ve ever read (my own take HERE) covering everything from story to running time and everything inbetween. For the longest time it was almost certain that Lee would self-distribute the film by any means necessary, even boasting a release date for after the festival. Fast forward to August and things couldn’t be further from the chaos of Park City. RED HOOK  The film is currently in limited release by Variance Films and Lee is being spotlighted across the festival circuit.

For the past couple of evenings my Twitter timeline has been taken over with audiences reactions to Lee’s latest film RED HOOK SUMMER. I wasn’t the least annoyed and even smiled when I saw a tweet from the man himself apologizing for the massive retweets, saying “It’s Independent Film And  Have To Use Social Media To Get Word Out YO”. If that’s not the truth, Ruth, I don’t know what is. I admire Lee’s recent digital engagement with his fanbase. Even veterans like him realize that the game is changing and Twitter is a prime way to reach out to old and new viewers right from your finger tips. Plus it’s FREE. It seems like every other young filmmaker I meet is still hesitant to use Twitter. I was too, so I don’t blame them, but I do advice anyone with a project in any stage of production to create an account today. Still not convinced? Here’s some straight talk from the main man himself, ya dig?

Don’t forget the submission deadline for Sundance 2013 is August 27th! Wondering what exactly programmers of the fest are looking for this year? Check out this great Q&A resource from Film Independent HERE.

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