One of the most wonderful perks of being one of the 1650 volunteers at Sundance is the volunteer screenings they hold and I was able to go to two on Thursday. The first film is part of the U.S. Documentary Competition, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. I can’t recommend it enough. It was a bonus that the director, cinematographer (who are wife and husband), and editors were all there to announce the film and do a Q&A at the end. What a labor of love. They’ve been working on the film for over six years and showing it to the volunteers was the first time they’ve shown it to an audience. I think they were very pleased with the audience reaction. I believe it was one of the editors who commented that he noticed every time Elmo the puppet himself was on the screen and talking into the camera was when the audience smiled and laughed the most. What can I say, we all fell under Elmo’s spell.
The second film was adapted from a popular UK novel that I read last year called Submarine. It’s one of those quirky, witty, British coming of age films. The cast was great and the art direction and cinematography was way more creative than my mind’s eye when I think back to the way I perceived it as I read it. The audience responded very positively to that film too.
As I walked back to my car shivering the whole way I was thinking how I impressed I was that people volunteered for some of the outside jobs like transportation coordinator, helping people in and out of the shuttles. It’s cold here!