POV 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.
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!