By Joey Magidson
Greetings from Park City, everyone! As I’m writing this piece, I’m in Utah attending the Sundance Film Festival. So far, it has been pretty cool (if a bit overwhelming at times), especially for a first-timer like myself. Being here inspired me to try and tie in the festival to the Oscars, as I’m prone to do with just about everything that I can. I’ve found that I’m on the lookout for what could move from this year’s festival lineup to the next awards season.
When I wrote about which film festivals influence the Oscar race a few weeks ago (found here), I mentioned how Sundance wasn’t the prime destination for awards hopefuls but still functioned as an essential launching pad. That was certainly true this year, and it will remain the case going forward.
It takes a certain kind of movie to make it from Park City to Hollywood for the Academy Awards. Not only do Sundance debuts have to deal with coming on the scene in January (at least a month before the previous Oscar ceremony even airs), but they also have to be picked up by a distributor with a solid game plan, released theatrically at a prime date and connect with both the independent, art house crowd and a broader audience of movie lovers.