Explain what you do for the Sundance Institute in 50 words or less. I manage and organize the Utah based Sundance Institute Archive. The Archive houses material dating back to the ’70s and documents the Institute, Film Festival, and Artist Development Programs. I also managed and designed The Story Vault exhibit at The Sundance House at the 2009 Festival.
What would most people be surprised to know about Sundance? The Festival is accessible without credentials and/or passes. Anyone can visit the Sundance House, New Frontier on Main, and see a selection of panels without tickets and/or credentials. The waitlist lines and free shuttles will undoubtedly keep you informed and entertained.
What’s the once place everyone should visit in Park City? This one isn’t too hard… I’d say The Story Vault exhibit at the Sundance House. Just to entice you a bit, if you stop by, you’ll see some really cool material including historical photos of award winners such as, Jennie Livingston in 1991 for Paris is Burning and Chris Eyre in 1998 for Smoke Signals; dozens of movie posters including House Party from 1990, Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. from 1993, The Full Monty from 1997, and The American Astronaut from 2001; press kits and film stills from Todd Haynes’ 1988 film Superstar, The Brave Little Toaster from 1988, and Kevin Smith’s 1994 film Clerks; a press release and film still from the 1994 film Hoop Dreams; correspondence between Samuel Fuller and the Program Director in the late ’80s; and a few super neat displays that provide a glimpse into the creative process. Plus Sundance House is right next door to Davanza’s, which has some of the best tacos in town — you can get two tacos and a drink for $5.50.
If you had one piece of advice for filmmakers attending the festival for the first time, what would it be? Drink water, eat, sleep a little, see films, and have fun!
What’s your favorite Robert Redford flick? I’d say The Sting.
What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve discovered while digging through the archives? The most ridiculously cool thing I’ve discovered is the Sundance Institute Prospectus. Though written in the late ’70s, it quite accurately describes what the Institute has grown to become.