For Park City film students, Sundance is inspiring
Park Record intern
The Sundance Film Festival draws in people from all over the world to witness incredible films, but it also spoils the locals of Park City by giving them a professional movie festival right in their backyard. The small ski town transforms into a madhouse, overflowing with people from celebrities to fur-wearing tourist.
Students who attend school in the Park City and Salt Lake City areas are given the opportunity to view screenings of films along with participating in question-and-answer discussions with the filmmakers through a program called Sundance Student Screenings.
At Park City High School, there is another program called Filmmakers in the Classroom where selected short films are screened in the PCHS lecture hall that also include a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers.
For film students at PCHS, that is their chance to explore their passion on a deeper level by being exposed to professional filmmakers. Kyle Fish, the film teacher at PCHS, said the Sundance experience benefits students interested in pursuing a career in film.
“I think the opportunities to hear from the filmmakers and interact with them is one of the most beneficial things for the student filmmakers,” he said. “My students have told me how inspiring it is to hear from these independent filmmakers about how they found ways to bring their visions into reality and create their films.”
Senior Holly Moffat, who is currently a film student, shared her opinion on why Sundance is beneficial for students like her.
“Sundance poses many great opportunities for the film students,” she said. “We get to share not just the city, but the school with some of the best filmmakers in the world.”
Added senior Sedona Berman: “For me, Sundance is a great opportunity to see all genres of film from all over the world. Also, I can meet directors, cinematographers, producers, etcetera after viewing their films. I’m planning on majoring in filmmaking in college and hope to pursue a career in the industry, so being exposed to professionals is a great experience to learn more about film.”
As for the students that don’t participate in film, like PCHS juniors Josie Slobodow and Mikelle Olsen, Sundance can be more of a struggle than a privilege, however.
“During Sundance, there is a lot of traffic, which makes my life much harder especially during the school week because I have to set aside more time to sit in my car,” Slobodow said.
Olsen added that “many places in Park City put the tourists above the locals, so it’s basically like hiding from tourists for a week and a half.”
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A Parkite who immigrated to the U.S. when he was 13 is giving scholarships and internships to three first-generation graduates from PCHS.