Sundance has an apparent slogan this year (aimed at countering all the various distractions that crop up surrounding the festival)… you can read more about that in indieWIRE’s first daily dispatch from Park City today.
Also worth noting is that anyone going into this year’s fest expecting to find the next “Little Miss Sunshine” (whatever that really means) will be disappointed. We touch on that a bit in our latest dispatch, as well.
In fact, with still a few hours to go before Sundance screens its first film for a live audience, bloggers (namely Jeffrey Wells and David Poland) already seem to be declaring this year’s event a washout, simlpy because there is no apparent “Sunshine” level film out there. Wells writes about Sundance ’07 (repeating what a friend told him), “flat, so-so, nothing to write home about material…a couple of almost-but-not-quite- as-good-as-Half Nelson flicks, and apparently nothing even close to a Little Miss Sunshine-type breakout waiting to happen.” Meanwhile, Poland notes, “People coming from Hollywood looking for Little Miss Sunshine are expected to go home with Little Missed Time At Home because there is really not much to buy.”
Whether or not you liked LMS, it was a real achievement. But as one industry vet told me yesterday, “Every year has its heroes and it won’t be a failure this year if there isn’t a ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ because ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is rare.” We shall see, but until I see some finished films in a theater, I’ll remain entirely optimistic for all the new films and filmmakers I’ll be encountering over the next 10 days. Why would you want to go into a festival like this any other way?