Sundance: That’s a wrap
February 2, 2010
The parking barricades have all but disappeared, the barrage of taxis and shuttles has substantially dwindled, and the streets of Old Town seem suddenly sparse. The 2010 Sundance Film Festival officially ended over the weekend with announcements and screenings of the award-winning films.
On the festival Twitter account, Sundance Institute summed up this year’s 10-day experience in 140 characters or less: "If you came, we miss you. If you were online, we felt you. If you were Banksy, why didn’t you say hi? Let’s do it again Jan 20-30, 2011."
Brooks Addicott, associate director of media relations for Sundance Institute, said that for her, the best outcome of the festival was random, unexpected displays of humanity.
At the premiere of Jennifer Arnold’s documentary, "A Small Act," for example, audience members started pledging their financial support to the Hilde Back Education Fund, the charitable organization that inspired the film. Founded by Chris Mburu, the fund helps disadvantaged children in Kenya complete their primary and secondary education.
The filmmakers walked away with $10,000 in donations at the premiere and by Saturday, Jan. 30, the film had encouraged contributions amounting to more than $90,000 for the cause.
Addicott also mentioned an unusual and promising instance that was observed at the premiere of "Fix Me" with Palestinian filmmaker Raeda Andoni. Among the audience members was an Israeli filmmaker, Yael Hersonski the director of "A Film Unfinished."
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"This may not be unprecedented but it is, certainly, amazing," Addicott wrote in an email to her colleagues.
Aside from the powerful stories that came out of the festival, Sundance Institute is optimistic about the festival’s bottom line.
According to Linda Pfafflin, senior manager of ticketing and customer service, ticket sales were up by about $100,000 this year as compared to 2009.
She said attendance during the first half of the festival was slightly up from last year, and she expects that when the B-week numbers are calculated, the Institute will see higher overall attendance due to the increased number of paid ticket-holders and locals who tend to frequent the fest during the second half.
Pfafflin added that festival-goers spent at least $30,000 more in waitlist tickets this year. "That surprised us," she said. "I don’t know how it translated into attendance, but we’re happy with our sales."
For more highlights from the festival, log on to http://festival.sundance.org/2010 . To view a complete list of award winners, please see page C-3.