Watching the Inauguration at Sundance

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Yance FordPOV series producer Yance Ford writes in on Inauguration Day from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City.

It’s a bright, chilly day here in Park City, and the mood on the streets, buses and in the coffee shops at Sundance is buoyant. Dozens of filmmakers have gathered here at the Sundance Documentary Fund’s filmmaker lounge to watch the inauguration taking place in Washington, D.C. Cara Mertes (the director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Program, who also happens to be the former executive director of POV) and her staff have a jumbo projection screen at one end of the room and a flat screen TV at the other. I was among the early arrivals at the lounge, and helped rearrange the furniture so all the couches were facing the television — nothing like making yourself at home.

Watching the inauguration at the Sundance filmmakers loung

Watching the inauguration at the Sundance Documentary Fund’s filmmaker lounge

There are more Emmy, Oscar and Sundance Audience Award winners in this room than you can shake a stick at. Filmmakers Pamela Yates, Rahdi Taylor and Paco de Onis, POV alums Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country and Flag Wars) and Anne Makepeace (Rain in a Dry Land and Baby, It’s You), Women Make Movies Executive Director Debbie Zimmerman, former director of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival and current executive producer at the International Center for Transitional Justice Productions Bruni Burres, film editor Mary Lampson, blogger and Austin Film Society communications manager Agnes Varnum, Shooting People‘s Ingrid Koop…the list goes on and on. It’s great to be in the company of so many filmmakers and documentary industry forces on this historic day!

Heading into the second week of the Festival, the documentaries have generated a fair amount of excitement among audiences. The Reckoning premiere yesterday was packed; POV alum Eric Daniel Metzgar‘s film, Reporter, also played to a full house, a doc titled The Cove has been the talk of the last 24 hours and The Yes Men Save the World has sold out every screening. Go docs!

Today I’m off to see the doc We Live in Public, as well as a few panels at the filmmaker lodge. Happy Inauguration Day, everyone!

Yance Ford
Yance Ford
Yance works closely with POV's executive director and programming director to evaluate films submitted to POV She is instrumental in curating the series, a showcase of acclaimed documentary film on PBS. Yance frequently represents POV | American Documentary at conferences, festivals and markets, procuring work from filmmakers both nationally and internationally. Yance also oversees POV's annual call for entries, which yields upwards of one thousand entries, and coordinates POV's annual programming advisory board. Yance is a Programming Consultant and Pre- Screener for film festivals around the country, including the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Black Maria Film Festival, the Newport International Film Festival, Latino Public Broadcasting, Creative Capital and the Sundance Film Festival. She has served on festival juries at Full Frame and Silverdocs, appeared on panels at Sunny Side of the Doc and DocuClub and served on the IFP Advisory Committee. A graduate of Hamilton College and the production workshop at Third World Newsreel, Yance is a former Production Stage Manager for the Girls Choir of Harlem and has worked as a Production Manager on numerous independent productions for the Discovery Health and History channels. Ford has also worked in various capacities on the documentaries The Favorite Poem Project, Juanita Anderson, Executive Producer, Brian Lanker's They Drew Fire (PBS), and Barry Levinson's Yesterday's Tomorrows (Showtime). Yance's favorite documentaries include: 1. Hands on a Hard Body 2. Tongues Untied 3. Harlan County, USA 4. Cul de Sac 5. When We Were Kings 6. The Thin Blue Line 7. Night and Fog