Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 80 minutes
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Didn’t get into Sundance, NoDance, or any other of the “Dance” festivals with your work of celluloid genius? You say you blew your savings, retirement funds, and pulled out your last gold filling to make your masterpiece and still didn’t get one single call back? Well sit back, have a brew, and pop in “Wrong Way To Sundance,” a film that proves NO ONE should take the film festival racket too seriously. For some, this could be a little depressing, but for most, this is a pretty comical satire on the aftermath of independent filmmaking.
Done in a mockumentary type style, “Wrong Way To Sundance,” starts off where most filmmakers’ end, at a hopeless state of despair once they realize that their film will never hit the festival circuit. The story unfolds as documentary filmmaker Andy Williams attempts to find a buddy who has been missing for two years due to making his first film. Through this, Andy stumbles across various starry-eyed filmmakers wanting to grasp that golden acceptance letter to Sundance.
Some are funnier than others, but all are familiar to the world of indie filmmaking. The budding filmmaker that drags his wife and kid to the depths of filmmaking hell, the East Coast director whose father thinks he’s an idiot for blowing his last buck on his personal masterpiece, it’s all here. One filmmaker is so impatient that he calls Sundance pretending to be Robert Redford so he can get into the glorified festival. The moment is funny but at the same time a depressing reality of the reaches some filmmakers will go to grab the golden egg.
The icing on the cake is Bobby Rembrant who runs a support group called, “The United Alliance Of Failed Filmmakers,” a society that gives support for struggling directors who haven’t gotten into any film festivals. The whole situation makes Alcoholics Anonymous look tame in comparison. For you filmmakers who didn’t get into a festival this year and still struggle to get your film screened, here’s a little six-step program to bring you back to a stable and successful lifestyle.
1. My Film is a failure.
2. No one is interested in my film.
3. My film will not find distribution.
4. The money I spent is gone.
5. My talent lies some place else other than filmmaking.
6. Keep my day job. – This is the most important. This is where the healing really begins.
A filmmaker making a movie about filmmakers is a gutsy move. The movie pokes fun at the world of independent filmmaking but still keeps its heart in the right place. Even though the flick pokes fun at these Sundance hopefuls, it also respects them as well. Yet, one could imagine the possibilities if a real doc would have been made about the aftermath of film festival shock. But for now, I’ll settle with “Wrong Way To Sundance.”
Posted on January 7, 2003 in Reviews by Dennis Przywara
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