Unofficial festival shirts return after successful first year
A few years ago, slogans for a film festival T-shirt came to Vida Allahverdi as she watched Sundance Film Festival ticket hopefuls curl up in a line on the street overnight in front of a Salt Lake Sundance box office near her store, Studio V2 Designer Clothing: "Film junky," she thought. Or better yet: "I’m with Bob."
Allahverdi took a chance last year, printing her own unofficial film festival shirts, long and short-sleeved, and in black to reflect the directors, actors and producers who appear, at times, to be almost allergic to wearing color, she observes. Allahverdi estimates she sold 1,000 shirts in 2005, the top-seller declaring "Bob’s Bitch" in a bright, white font.
"I’m really not trying to offend anyone. I love Robert Redford," Allahverdi explains. "But I wanted to get people to think about the fact that they were sleeping outside in the freezing cold just to get a ticket to something local."
Allahverdi says when the shirts debuted last year, she received a few phone calls from Sundance organizers concerned about the shirts being associated with the festival. As a result, "Sundance" does not appear in print anywhere on her shirts, she says.
Ironically, Allahverdi notes, "what’s funny is that a lot of Sundance employees bought them, and I know because I have their names and addresses."
Sundance officials, busy organizing for the festival that begins Jan. 19, had no comment for The Park Record.
Allahverdi, who has owned Studio V2 for seven years, says after the good response received last year, she has since seen her shirts on the music television station VH1, flashed on the screen in a segment on Sundance swag for celebrities.
"I had absolutely no idea that the T-shirts were going to be on television we weren’t giving them away, but [VH1] called it a ‘hot shirt’ and it’s been on the screen for five seconds [at a time]," she said.
This year, Allahverdi’s newer shirts are riffing off the popularity of reality television, with slogans like, "Robert’s Reality 06."
Last year, Allahverdi says some festival-goers wondered if the T-shirts were advertising films in competition at Sundance, but she currently has no film in the works, she says it’s just about being clever.
To get an unofficial film festival T-shirt or hat visit Studio V2 in Slat Lake City at 602 East 500 South or log onto http://www.studiov2.us. For more information, call (801) 333-7300.
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