The deal making begins weeks before the celebrities touch down in Park City, Utah, a pop-up center of the universe for the culture industry during the ten-day run of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Open Road Films buys the Steve Jobs biopic jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher as the Apple co-founder, long before audiences clap, yawn, or both at its Sundance Closing Weekend premiere. Other movies including Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey, and No, featuring Gael García Bernal, also arrive with deals intact. The pre-fest deals, as well as decisions by filmmakers from former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl (Sound City) to Shane Carruth (Upstream Color) to take on a DIY release model, lead to an inevitable question: with the ability to build communities of fans and supporters 24/7 on digital platforms, are the time, energy, and money spent getting in and getting to Sundance still necessary?
PARK CITY, Utah — Behind the shopping plaza location of the press-and-industry screening hub known as the Holiday Village Cinemas and tucked behind the celebrity favorite restaurant Blind Dog stands Park City’s shuttered Anderson’s Lumberyard. Recently remade by local businessman Mark Fisher as a music venue called The Yard, the sprawling warehouses turn into the trans-media exhibition space New Frontier The Yard for the 10-day Sundance Film Festival.
Today, we received the following email response to our request for comment from Alison Klayman, the filmmaker behind the award-winning documentary.
“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” was award the US Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and the audience flipped the filmmaker off.