For the last 8 years we have attended the Sundance Film Festival and have seen it grow from just a few thousand attendees to about 50K this year. It's always a wonderful adventure seeing artistic documentaries, creative short films (aka "shorts") and feature films, many of which make it to the big screen.
As exciting as the festival is, it's also a lot of hard work! Accommodations, travel and tickets are purchased months in advance, even restaurant reservations need to be booked weeks, if not months, in advance as well. Once we get there it's also a workout. You are generally sleep deprived, cold and hungry the entire week. Despite that, each year I am as excited as a kid at Christmas in anticipation of the next festival!
As I write this, our friends are discussing what's next on the film schedule:
"What do you have at 6:15?"
"In Bruges at Eccles."
"Oh, you're going to that too! We're coming from the Library, can you save our seats?"
"So when do we eat?"
This is a common issue that I have tried, over the years, to alleviate: when to eat. And when to eat good food. Food in a restaurant, served on a plate, with a fork and knife and actually chew my meal at a normal pace. Our schedules are usually so packed with films (we average 2-4 films a day with a maximum of 5) that squeezing in a decent sit-down meal is a challenge. Sustenance usually consists of downing a cup of coffee in the morning (if you're lucky), some sort of protein bar, maybe some popcorn, and if you're lucky a greasy piece of pizza...all while standing and snarfing down with miraculous speed. This year, however, I've managed to reserve seating each night for our group of nine and we've enjoyed delicious meals at Jean Louis, Butcher's Chop House, Windy Ridge, Bangkok on Main and Cafe Terigo.
As far as the films go our favorites this year have been, in features: The Wackness, Sunshine Cleaning, In Bruges, Choke and The Visitor, and in documentaries: Fields of Fuel, CSNY: Déjà Vu and Man on Wire.
It was another great year at Sundance enjoyed with friends and family. Planning for next year has already begun!