Sundance Variety Blog #10!

By Jason Eisener:

Sorry i haven’t been posting as much as i should, things have been crazy, and i haven’t had much time in the hotel room. Everyday has been, get up at 8 or 9, then quickly rush out the door to get to a meeting, screening, or festival event. Then home at 4am.

Where I last left off, we were on our way to see The Carter, which is my favorite doc of the festival. The trailers for this doc dont serve it very well. People seem to have mixed feelings about it. But the Dartmouth crew down here are in love with it. Little Wayne’s story is told in a very interesting way. There’s no mention of his emmy nominations, or much of his past, or other albums, the film is more about his character. It is interesting too, because he doesn’t write anything down, he says he doesnt want to leave a history of himself on paper and that if you want to know about the artist, youll have to listen to his music, which the documentary leaves you to do. Another fav was Nollywood Babylon, a doc about the Nigerian film industry, that will leave you inspired. The film was made by filmmakers from Montreal. We finally got a chance to see Black Dynamite which was something we all really wanted to check out. The film is very funny. Its not what i expected from the trailer which made me believe that we were going to see a film that was going to try and be like an old Blaxploitation flick. In some ways i wish it was, but this has more of a feel of “Im Going to Get you Sucka”. I still loved the film and we had a chance to meet Michael Jai White after the screening. Then later at the Shorts awards party we hung out with him and the Black Dynamite crew, which was great. They are kind of like our crew, all childhood friends who got together to make a film. But their crew could probably kick our asses. Michael Jai talked to us about his martial arts training and at the end of our conversation he looked at Zander Rosborough (sound designer on Treevenge) who trains in Akido and said, “Goodbye my Akido brother”.

At the shorts awards party we met up with a lot of the jury from the festival and many of the short filmmakers. They gathered everyone up to annouce the awards for short films. Adam Burke, Rob Cotterill, Zander and I were standing together, and we were hoping that “I Live In The Woods” (our favorite short film of the fest) would get nominated. They started announcing the honarble mentions and “I Live In The Woods” was annouced as one. We were so excited and i turned around to get another drink, then my name gets called and they announce Treevenge. I nearly droped my drink, everyone around me started going nuts, and i looked at Rob and we both had this look on our faces that was like “is this really happening”. I walked up to get some pictures with the other filmmakers and we all celebrated pretty hard. You know, i never thought we would ever get into Sundance, let alone win an award. People were asking me if i thought we would win anything and I shut that idea down very fast. Its an honor to be in the festival, and i just thought there was no way in hell we would get more recognition. There are so many amazing short films here, 96 in total and they had around 6000 submissions.

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Last night we got into a film that everyone has been talking about down here called Sin Nombre. Its a first time feature for the director. It was also a first time acting gig for the main actor. The screening for this film was magic, you could feel it in the air, there were over 600 people in the audience. My brother even said after the film that he had goose bumps the whole time. You can read more about the film here http://ww1.filminfocus.com/essays/train-of-thought-making-sin-no.php .
i would love to write more but right now im getting yelled at by Rob & the crew to get going hahaha.

Today is going to be a busy day, were hanging out with the Troma crew, going to watch some Troma flicks, later i am on a panel with Llyod Kaufman which should be a lot of fun. Then at midnight we have our last screening.

Ill let you know how it goes. Thanks again for all the support, my email has been 2 pages full everytime i come back to the hotel. Filled with letters from back home giving me support. I appreciate it so much and its been awesome representing Dartmouth/Halifax here. Thanks so much guys.

Ps. I have some some short films that im going to bring home to the Thrillema. At the Robocop screening on the 29th im going to show one thats going to rock you guys. I also finally saw Alicia Conway’s short film “Rite” which played before grace. I love her short, its shot so beautifully, and it really creeped me out. I thought it creeped me out more than the film “Grace”. I cant wait to see what she does next. She had me sinking into my seat, almost curling up into a ball. I have a copy of it, so hopefully there can be a showing of it at the Thrillema soon.

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