In 2017, the Gorilla partners went to the Sundance Film Festival and had a profound experience – being immersed in film formultiple days straight overflowed them with inspiration and energy, ultimately recharging them creatively for the entire year. It was so impactful that when they got back, they announced that the whole Gorilla community would be attending Sundance the following year. We planned ahead, secured tickets so we could see some of the same movies at the same times, and readied ourselves for days of absorbing new films.
The time spent at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival was indescribable: no work, just watching movies and having fun. Thefestival itself was isolated in the middle of a mountain town and covered in a snowstorm, which added to the mystique of the whole experience. We were watching movies away from the rest of the world, some of which might never see a wide theatrical release, and there were question-and-answer sessions with the directors or producers after almost every film to reveal further information and insight into their works.
Naturally, there were plenty of highlights and must-sees: Eighth Grade – the directorial debut from comedian Bo Burnham – received a surplus of buzz, as well as Foxtrot – the second feature film from Israeli writer/director Samuel Maoz and in the spotlight section of the festival. There were elements to the process of the festival that made things more exciting as well: if a movie had enough of an audience clamoring to see it, there were lottery systems in place which compelled us to stay up late into the night to just for a chance to wait in line, adding another layer of excitement and exclusivity.
The sense of unity at a festival is even bigger than any one group. Here, Gorilla was thrust into a community in and of itself – with thousands of Sundance attendees and excitedly discussing the movies in the backs of inter-theater busses, Uber rides, coffee shops and bars. The shared love of the art of film was transcendent regardless of your group or status within the industry.
It was an experience which brought us closer together and inspired new ambitions and standards for the films we create.
Learn more about the Sundance Film Festival here: http://www.sundance.org
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