Before my plane departs and I head back home to glorious Fresno, California, I’m taking a few moments to reflect on the last 10 days. I keep circling around the people, the films, the bliss. But it’s the individual moments that I remember with such lucidity.
The wonderful films. The bad films. The lack of sleep. The excess of coffee with French vanilla and hazelnut creamer. The rousing standing ovation for Fruitvale. The parties I’m sure my parents would find entirely appropriate. Jeff Wells and his asinine cowboy hat. A shut-down MacGruber party that, ironically, didn’t have a copy of MacGruber. The achingly painful early mornings. The idiotic scoop scorecard between Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. The cranky old biddy below our room who kept complaining we were “too loud” (apparently the sound of people typing on their keyboards is tantamount to elephants stomping). Surprisingly warm weather. Minor snow. Weight-adding food. Devin Faraci’s scotch. Standing in long lines. Sitting in long lines. Going to bed at 4 A.M. to make sure your article is ready for the next morning. James Rocchi calling everyone (no matter their occupation) “Doctor.” And the list goes on.
However, it’s the wonderful friends that make Sundance what it is. Allison Loring and Eric D. Snider for their infinite kindness; Dan Mecca, Jordan Raup, and Raffi Asdourian for giving me an opportunity to write for their site (seriously tough, Ain’t Them Body Saints?); Kate Erbland for her organization of this whole thing; Will Goss for his endless supply of puns; Rob Hunter for being a brilliant antagonist; Katey Rich and Matt Patches for their graciousness and insight; Matt Goldberg, Germain Lussier, Sam Zimmerman, Ryland Aldrich, Drew McWeeney, Dor Dotson, Lucas McNelly, Jordan Hoffman, Mike Ryan, Kyle Eschenroeder, and many many more good people who made Sundance a film festival I wish never ended.
All of this has culminated into one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Yes, this Sundance Film Festival may not have been anything out of the ordinary for regular attendees. But I’ll forever remember my first time in Park City, and the lovely people who made it all worthwhile.
It’s a bittersweet feeling to leave, no matter how inevitable it is. Alas, cheers to Sundance 2013. I’ll miss you all. Apologies for the sentimentality. Anyway, here’s to hoping we all make it home safely and return to Sundance in 2014.