Sundance Update: Meetings, Screenings, Panels and Parties in Park City

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Yance Ford

POV’s series producer Yance Ford is at the Sundance Film Festival. She’s blogging and twittering from Park City throughout the week.

Well, the infamous Sundance wall reared up and smacked me on Tuesday. Keeping up with the meetings, screenings, panels and parties here in Park City is an exhausting (though fun) job, but once in awhile you know you’ve got a glazed-over look on your face that means you need to go home or take a nap. I took a nap, thank you, and feel pumped for my final day at SFF 2010!

Tuesday was a busy day for documentary filmmakers, both the ones supported by the Sundance Documentary Fund (SDF), and the filmmakers attending the festival looking for face time with some of the industry’s biggest funders. I’m not sure how the SDF staff handles a slew of grantees as well as a throng of other filmmakers vying for space at the table, but they did so with aplomb. The staff of the Doc Fund, Kristin Feely, Lesli Klainberg, Win-Sie Tow, Dyana Winkler, Patricia Finneran and Cara Mertes, have carved out homes for doc makers &mdash at the filmmaker lodge, various panels, grantee breakfasts, as well as funder meetings and round tables. When SDF says “Welcome to the Sundance family,” they mean it, and the grantees I’ve spoken to here have really appreciated it.


Sundance 2010: Filmmaker Robin Hessman and characters from My Perestroika

Robin Hessman (third from the left), the filmmaker of My Perestroika, and the Meyerson Family, who are featured in her film.

Tuesday also saw the annual Chicken & Egg party, toasting three SFF 2010 films they supported: The Oath (POV), My Perestroika (POV) and A Small Act (HBO). Wendy Ettinger, Julie Parker-Bennelo and Natalie Difford were gracious as ever, honoring their grantees and demonstrating why funders like Chicken & Egg Pictures are essential.

Today the Saving Democracy panel takes place at the filmmaker lodge. I ranted a little about the Supreme Court and the implications of its ruling on campaign contributions a few days ago , but I’ve calmed down now, and look forward to a robust conversation between Michael Ratner, Laura Poitras, Amy Goodman and Alex Gibney. Wendy Levy, of the ever innovative BAVC, is hosting a panel on Web 3.0 at New Frontier on Main later today. Sign up for the Sundance newsletter and you’ll be informed when the podcast versions of the 2010 panels will be available for download. I missed a few great panels last year, but the podcasts are almost like being there. And, I’m FINALLY going to see Casino Jack! I missed Life 2.0 (sorry, Jason) and a few other films from my must-see list, but don’t worry filmmakers, I’ll be bugging you for screeners on Monday.

Have I mentioned that POV has three confirmed films at the festival this year and they’ve all been buzzed about in some way or another? Well, our films are getting major buzz! Awards are handed out in a few days, and as always, we’ll see if audience buzz matches up with the Jury’s decisions.

When I use the word “buzz” in successive sentences, it’s clearly time for me to stop writing. I’ll wrap up my Sundance reporting tomorrow from the Salt Lake City airport while I wait for my red-eye back to NYC. I’ve been reading about the body scan machines and I think they use them at SLC. Looking forward to that…

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
  • Alexamarshall

    Hi Avijit you are just so special and the opportunitys we have in our life comes home after watching Born in Brothels well done I would love to get contact details of how I could assist other children by donation Keep up your happy positive you Thanks Lexie

  • A Nameless Friend

    I was very moved by your story and the story of your friends.  I hope you all continue to do well in life.  

  • A Nameless Friend

    Thanks for checking up on Avijit, Mr. Roston.  I felt desperate to know that the children I saw from this 2004 Documentary were doing okay.  They’re all still quite young, so I’m hopeful for the two that may have lost their way end up safe and happy in the end.