While growing up in Park City, I've seen the word "Sundance" trigger a variety of feelings. As a teen, all it meant was running around like crazy, sneaking into and getting booted out of elite parties, tracking down Hollywood hotties, and hucking massive amounts of snow balls at the goofy tourists flaunting around in their furry cloaks. To the more adult crowd, however, Sundance usually means nothing more than insane traffic and brigades of snotty foreigners. Some locals have even taken it to the extent of throwing up signs outside their shops, "Sundancers Not Welcome, Locals Only!"
Regardless of how you look at the festival, however, in the year 2001 all that changed. A group of passionate extreme sports enthusiasts saw a window of opportunity and turned the festival into way more than just a Hollywood party. They created a movement, an opportunity for films dedicated to the life, passion, and love of X sports to unite and celebrate their roots and lifestyles. Starting out in the small arena of a Park City mall, the festival has now moved to a historical theatre and become the "GRAMMY" equivalent to X-Sport cinematographers and athletes. To be recognized by the festival is a true honor and brings with it an elite classification. A little history in terms of Wake films: In 2007, Justin Stephens was recognized for his work on THE TRUTH, which won the BEST CORE FILM. In 2008, Ronn Seidenglanz was recognized for the BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY with his film, TRANSGRESSION.
Unfortunately, this year everyone is still finishing their projects so no Wake films for 09', but the festival was still nothing short of amazing. With new sponsors and a plethora of emerging cinematographers, the venue was constantly packed and the films were absolutely incredible. If you missed it this year, mark it down on your calendar for the next, as you will not be disappointed. Check out their website to see what you missed out on and to get the latest on the biggest films of the year.
Huge thanks to Eric Barrett, Brian Wimmer, Mark Wheadon, and Ann Wycoff for creating such an ALL-TIME festival.
We'll see you next year,
David Patterson AKA Intern Jake.