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A Love Letter from Park City

Mount Timpanagos at the Sundance Institute (photo: Kathleen Broyles)

I’ve been out at the Sundance Film Fest since Monday. The Sundance Institute (bless them) put on a new thing this year — The Talent Forum — to hook up some of their supported projects, artists, and festival filmmakers with potential collaborators, producers, funding and such. 

And with each other. 

I was invited out with my narrative feature Adelyne

What did I find? Well. The meetings seem to have gone well for many folks. My meetings were quite wonderful. I have a lotta gratitude for those in the industry who take these meetings and give advice and support even when they know a project is not for them. And I have a lotta hope that maybe I met my people out here. Some of the people who are gonna be by my side as my next films are made. 

But what am I feelin’ this mornin’? My last mornin’ as I watch the sun rise turnin’ the mountain golden orange. 

I’m feelin’ a lot of pain. I talked with a lot of filmmakers while I was here who are feelin’ a lot of pain. In their work lives, in their personal lives, often in the intertwining of them both. 

I talked to a beautiful director last night whose film is premiering here. I know her from back in the day at other festivals. I saw her first feature premiere. And I thought, well, she’s gonna have the answers now. She probably got it all figured out now. (This is her fourth or fifth film.) She don’t got it figured out. She was worryin’ about how to make ends meet.

Man alive! Your film’s at Sundance! Ain’t this supposed to feel goood? 

It’s a serious time. A lot of our films out here are dealin’ with serious issues. The world’s awry… we’re all tryin’ to figure it out. Tryin’ to figure out our place within it. Tryin’ to figure out what stories to tell and how to best tell them. How to have children and still make movies. How to not have children and still feel like a part of a family. How to go to sleep at the end of the day. Period. Just how to go to sleep! It’s often not easy, is it? 

You know what I’m talkin’ about. Somethin’s goin’ on. I feel it. I felt it before I got here and the air here is drenched with it. 

Somethin’s goin’ on. 

There’s a lotta pain. There’s a whole lotta pain. There’s a lotta suffering. It’s everywhere around us. It’s in us. It’s in our families, our communities, the places and people we hear about… 

It’s in this community right here. The filmmakin’ community. 

My people, my people… 

I’m sendin’ some love. I’m sendin’ some love for the long haul. As I told my old friend this mornin’, get yourself a good meal with another good human. Talk it out. Connect. We gotta find a way to feel better. We gotta find a way for the light to emerge. We gotta find a way to conquer this darkness that surrounds us. ‘cause it’s there. But it don’t gotta take us down. 

I need your stories. I need your perspective. I need your voice. I need your hand. I need your heart. I need it all. 

We can do this. We can do this.

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