Highlights of Sundance 2013

Sundance 2013. CC Photo by Flickr / downtowntraveler.

Sundance 2013. CC Photo by Flickr / downtowntraveler.

Just under 1% of the 12,146 films submitted were screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Here is a recap of the films whose creative and business acclaim caught my attention:

Big winners

  • Updated 1/30/2013: First Showing has a breakdown of all the sales at Sundance, including one of the highest sales ($9.75 million) for “The Way, Way Back”
  • Fast Company spoke with Ryan Coogler, director of “Fruitvale,” which won the Grand Jury Prize, the Audience Award, and about a $2,000,000 distribution deal with The Weinsteim Company after it’s opening weekend premiere
  • Kickstarter financing was behind 17 films, including five winners (“Blood Brother” won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary and the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary; “The Square” won the Audience Award for World Cinema, “This Is Martin Bonner” won the Audience Award: Best of NEXT; and “Inequality for All” and “American Promise” won special jury prizes)

Available to watch

  • Sundance Channel had video of Robert Redford talking about how technology is changing filmmaking — also check out Redford’s talk on a sense of place
  • Fast Company rounded up 12 short films — already on YouTube’s Screening Room channel — and highlighted the fact that 65 of 8,102 short submissions were accepted
  • LiveStream provided live and archived some official video, but the ones to consider watching are the shorts awards and the closing night awards
  • The New Yorker wrote about Kahlil Joseph’s work, “Until the Quiet Comes,” which won the Short Film Special Jury Award [embedded below]


Cream-of-the-crop commentary

  • The Salt Lake Tribune (via The Denver Post) proclaimed Sundance 2013 the year of the female director — related, Los Angeles Times fully transcribed the “Women Directors’ Roundtable”
  • New York Magazine / Vulture.com calls out the best performers of Sundance 2013, most notable Michael B. Jordan (“The Wire,” “Friday Night Lights”) in “Fruitvale” and also Scarlett Johansson in “Don Jon’s Addiction,” the Joseph Gordon-Levitt directorial debut which got picked up for several million
  • Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers picked 5 films with great trajectory for the coming year, including “Sound City,” the Dave Grohl “love letter to the historic Sound City Studios”
  • Variety talked seven-figure deals and quotes CAA on whether VOD is a player this year for distribution
  • Los Angeles Times noted that the sales of documentaries this year are like hotcakes, including “Dirty Wars” (winner of the Cinematography Award [U.S. Documentary])

Useful asides

  • Facebook had a strong official (and ad-filled) presence, but noticeably missing from the community management efforts were replies to questions and follow-ups to news/awards teasers
  • IndieWire gave a rundown of their 30 reviews, including the Casey Affleck/Rooney Mara drama “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” (winner of the Cinematography Award [U.S. Dramatic] and in negotiations with IFC for distribution) and the Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy sequel “Before Midnight”
  • Esquire had 9 lessons from their coverage, including how Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Cera, and Amanda Seyfried premiered roughened-up images of themselves thanks to their independent films
  • Sundance.org appropriately cross-linked the list the winners with each film’s details page, including archives for past festival films and winners

(Curious about past Sundance coverage? We’ve touched on different facets in past articles.)


Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site


Highlights of Sundance 2013 http://t.co/HZH79HYb

@DoyleBrand #

Got something to add?