Sundance Jurors Respond to Berlinger
In a statement addressed as an “Open Letter to the Press,
“four members of the 1997 Sundance Documentary jury have responded
to fellow juror Joe Berlinger’s recent comments about the jury experience.
The letter, from jurors Lourdes Portillo, Deborah Hoffmann, Michael Lumpkin,
and Jerret Engle, begins “As members of the documentary jury for the 1997
Sundance Film Festival, we have been extremely distressed by the statements
reported in the press by our co-juror Joe Berlinger.” It continues,
“The proceedings of our jury have been misrepresented by Mr. Berlinger
in statements he made to the press immediately following the awards
presentation on Saturday, January 25th.” The letter specifically mentions
Berlinger’s comments in the New York Times, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly.
The letter concludes, “Joe Berlinger’s statements to the press may make for good
‘post-festival’ copy, but they damage the standing of us, the jurors, the Sundance
Film Festival, and most of all the awardees.”