Sundance Filmmaker Blog: Alicia Conway, Rite


This is the fifth year I’ve attended Sundance. My first year was to support my husband, Ben Rock, who was the Production Designer on The Blair Witch Project. One year we had a short film, Conversations, in Slamdance. Two other years we just showed up to attend the festival. But this is my first year with my own film at Sundance.

Tonight at midnight is the world premiere screening of my short film, Rite, and I’m just… beside myself. We got in to Park City yesterday and I’ve been hopping in my seat, I’m so excited. Yesterday we got to see the opening night film, Mary and Max. The film was great and don’t tell anyone, but it made me cry a little.

This year will the first time ever that I’ve actually had tickets to the things I want to see, and while it’s a fantastic time-saver, I was worried I wouldn’t get to meet as many people. My experience has been that waitlisting for films means standing in line for hours, which forces you to make new friends. Turns out my fears were unfounded: I stood in line waiting to get into the theatre and chatted with some people around me, including infamous producer’s rep Jeff Dowd — he’s rumored to be the inspiration for The Dude in The Big Lebowski — as well as some Park City locals who turned out to have gone to the same high school as my husband (who is also my associate producer and editor of my film).

I’ve also had a lot of opportunities to meet other filmmakers, which is such a huge plus. Needless to say, I expect tomorrow morning’s much-discussed Directors’ Brunch to be a great place to mingle with other folks who have films at the fest, and I already have plans to sit on the bus with my friend Fraser Bradshaw, whose film Everything Strange and New is in the Spectrum program.

Can’t wait to report on our first screening and the brunch tomorrow!