IndieWire and RIMOWA Celebrate First-Time Filmmakers at Sundance 2019

Attendees shared advice for future first-timers to learn from in the future.

IndieWire’s First-Time Filmmakers Dinner at the Sundance Film Festival, presented by RIMOWA, took place on January 28 and introduced a new crop of talent you can expect to see more of in the years to come. “We know that being a first-time filmmaker is something very personal to you, and you’re in the middle of this journey,” IndieWire’s Eric Kohn said at the event. “We get excited to tell the world about it, so we expect to hear more from you down the line. One of the most gratifying things about going to Sundance is coming back and seeing people back here and seeing what you do next.”

Countless filmmakers have gotten their start at the festival, from Quentin Tarantino and Nicole Holofcener to Ryan Coogler and Steven Soderbergh, making it an especially fitting venue for such an occasion.

This year’s dinner began a new tradition in which attendees offer advice and/or words of wisdom for the following year’s class of first-time filmmakers, with all of their notes written down for posterity.

“It’s RIMOWA’s first time partnering with IndieWire here at Sundance: We really want to start a new tradition here with everyone in the room,” said Pei Pei Lin, VP of Marketing at RIMOWA. “We really want to empower and enable you on all the trips you’re going to have.”

“You have the chance to do something you love for the rest of your life,” said “Sorry to Bother You” director Boots Riley. “One thing I would say is get all the free shit you can while you’re here.”

“Don’t think about what other people are making think about what you want to make,” said “Jawline” director Liza Mandelup. And treat it like it’s the most important thing in the world and if it doesn’t exist you might explode and when it’s finished tell yourself it’s the best film you’ve ever seen and don’t believe anything else.”

A.J. Eaton, who was at the festival with his documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” got literary with his advice. “As Mark Twain once said, ‘Write what you know.’ Make movies about things you are passionate about…things that make you curious…things that you can’t stop thinking about,” he wrote. “That’s my advice. And everybody has their own unique interests and experiences and passions — make that movie!”

Find the full list of attendees below:

Rhys Ernst (“Adam”)
Hannah Pearl Utt (“Before You Know It”)
A.J. Eaton (“David Crosby: Remember My Name”)
Garry Keane (“Gaza”)
Andrew McConnell (“Gaza”)
Jocelyn DeBoer (“Greener Grass”)
Dawn Luebbe (“Greener Grass”)
Minhal Baig (“Hala”)
Grant Sputore (“I Am Mother”)
Liza Mandelup (“Jawline”)
Mirrah Foulkes (“Judy & Punch”)
Juan Pablo Polanco (“Lapu”)
Hepi Mita (“MERATA: How Mum Decolonized the Screen”)
Avi Belkin (“Mike Wallace Is Here”)
Ivete Lucas (“Pahokee”)
Alice Waddington (“Paradise Hills”)
Tayarisha Poe (“Selah and the Spades”)
Pippa Bianco (“Share”)
Marie Schlingman (“Sister Aimee”)
Samantha Buck (“Sister Aimee”)
Victoria Stone (“The Elephant Queen”)
Mark Deeble (“The Elephant Queen”)
Lee Cronin (“The Hole in the Ground”)
Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (“The Mustang”)
Michael Tyburski (“The Sound of Silence”)
Noble Jones (“The Tomorrow Man”)
Bert & Bertie (“Troop Zero”)
Makoto Nagahisa (“We Are Little Zombies”)

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