Sundance Update: Names, Films, and Gossip Girls

by |

Yance Ford

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

Day four of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival kicked off with a 9 a.m. screening of The Oath by Laura Poitras, followed by the premiere of My Perestroika by Robin Hessman. Both films are playing at the fab (and not that far, people!) Temple Theater. Poitras’ premiere on Friday night was followed by a great review in Variety by journalist Robert Koehler.

Sundance 2010: David Smallman, Laura Poitras, and former CIA agent Valery Plame

David Smallman, Laura Poitras, and former CIA agent Valerie Plame after a screening of Poitras’s The Oath.

Main Street is as crowded as ever, and seems a little overrun with Gossip Girls. I guess this isn’t so unusual for the narrative field at Sundance, but life in documentary-land leaves you ill-prepared to deal with the cute shoes, fur and lack of familiarity with riding the bus that this crowd brings to Park City. Ladies, please step to the rear! For me, adjusting to the altitude this year hasn’t been as bad as it was last year, when the trailer for the Sundance Documentary Fund-supported project Dear Mandela made me cry, and I realized that I might have been a little oxygen deprived. The Dear Mandela sample was amazing, but I never cry at anything. I guess the combination of lack of sleep and less oxygen might have made me susceptible to uncharacteristic outbursts. Watch out! What’s going to happen to me this year?

Last night, the Filmmaker Lodge was packed with filmmakers from the doc, narrative and online world. Mark Elijah Rosenberg of Rooftop Films was there, as was doc guru Sandi Dubowski, Sundance Associate Programmer Basil Tsiokos, POV alum Jesse Epstein, Ingrid Koop of Shooting People, Jess Search from Brit Doc and many more. Last night was also my first sighting of John Cooper, Sundance festival director, and Trevor Groth, director of programming for the Festival. I saw Cooper standing in the doorway briefly and didn’t get to say hello, but at midnight, he looked relaxed and happy. Given the good things I’m hearing about films like A Family Affair, Red Chapel, Restrepo, Howl, Catfish, Last Train Home and many others, I think Cooper and the folks at the Sundance Film Festival have indeed “renewed” an excitement in audiences here. Congratulations to all.

Now, off to The Oath!

Sundance 2010: The audience at a screening of Robin Hessman's My Perestroika

A full house just before the beginning of My Perestroika.

Sundance 2010: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

POV alums Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady just before the screening of their film, 12th and Delaware.

Follow what’s going on in Park City on POV’s twitter and check out more pictures from Sundance on our Flickr page.

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