This is my first year at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and as I listen to people chatter in the lines, what I hear most often is, “I am a Sundance virgin.” OK, that fits.
This Sundance trip came together after speaking with Dennis Coday, editor of the National Catholic Reporter, over breakfast at the Catholic Press Association’s conference last summer. His response to my proposal was, “Let’s go for it.”
The reason I think Sundance is important to the faith community is because in the last 20 or so years, the festival has been promoting independent films (outside the Hollywood system) about humanity. These films often challenge prevailing beliefs and question the status quo in every dimension of society. They can be inspiring and they can irritate, and as Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “True art irritates.”
By and large, this means that the films are art; that is, they tell a story that does not have box office receipts as the final goal. That many Sundance films have gone on to draw large audiences and win Oscars and other awards is gravy.
For now, here are reviews of the first films I have seen.
“Who Is Dayani Cristal?”