Because of Sundance, lots of other activities gather in Park City, UT – both commercial and otherwise. One of the most important is Slamdance, an exuberant film festival organized years ago by filmmakers to catch work that Sundance misses.
Skizz Cyzyk, former MFF programmer and a key part of the Slamdance team for years (our Film Office used to sponsor filmmaker awards there) had mentioned a Sunday “coffee” w Neil Young and Oscar winner Jonathan Demme. Moderated beautifully by Slamdance’s Paul Rachman (he made the great doc about American punk rock, AMERICAN HARDCORE, that premiered at Sundance a few years back), it was an intimate portrait of two very different and great artists who have worked together multiple times. I remembered Jonathan announcing the great HEART OF GOLD project from the MFF stage a few years back.
I wish every emerging filmmaker I’ve ever talked w could’ve been there. Understand corporate selling power. Listen to everyone. Don’t doubt. Embrace failure. Demme mentioned Dan Deacon and Jimmy Joe Roche’s new work several times and we got to talk about the Gunky’s Basement series after the group conversation.