The critics and movie fans who attend Sundance can take to the web, Twitter, Facebook and any other outlet to report on the various films shown during the festival (and what they think of them), but it is the distributors that come to this snowy mountaintop to decide which of those films will make it to you. Having gone to college in Los Angeles you are bound to spend those years alongside classmates who graduate and become a part of this crazy world of entertainment. Nick Donnermeyer is not only a fellow Loyola Marymount University graduate (and good friend), he is now a producer and distributor for Bleiberg Entertainment who have released such films as Adam Resurrected and Robotropolis. We turned to Nick to get the perspective of someone attending the festival to not only watch new movies, but potentially purchase and distribute them as well.
Nick is returning to Park City this year to see what new titles Bleiberg may want to add to their release list while also taking in the unique experience that is Sundance and proves that no matter what your reason for attending the festival there is one thing that unites us all – a love of film.
How many times have you been to Sundance?
I’ve been 5 out of the last 6 years.
What is your favorite Sundance memory?
I would say the entire first time is the best. Isn’t that true for most thing? I was young, not long out of school and I came up with two of my friends, one was at an agency, the other at a production company. It was great finally going to this amazing festival that we had only HEARD about all our lives.
What is your favorite film that you’ve seen at Sundance?
That’s too hard. Honestly. So I’m just going for most memorable and that was Crispin Glover’s “It is Fine. Everything is Fine!” Did that ever even get released?
What other festivals do you enjoy going to?
I think Telluride is cool and really focused on just the love of film. And Cannes is pretty damn amazing. Those two and Sundance all have very different energies so it’s definitely good to experience each of them.
What are you most looking forward to at Sundance 2012?
Celeste & Jesse Forever, Black Rock, V/H/S. Can I keep going?
What are your tips for those going to Sundance for the first time?
Check the weather. Make dinner reservations. Know your alcohol tolerance. Try not to use your mobile every goddamn minute. Smile. Remember that you’re there for movies.
What is your favorite venue at Sundance and why?
I usually have a good time at Eccles. It’s such large audience and it’s a good gauge of how a variety of people respond to the film.
Is there something you must always do (or see) while at Sundance (besides movies)?
There’s plenty of time to ski throughout the winter, so I don’t mess around with that. I’m here for the movies. Though I might sneak in some football. This is America, right?
What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you at Sundance?
Nothing too wild. Though one year I did find myself slung over the Main street moose toward the end of the night.
Why do you think Sundance is important?
It feels like the beginning of the season. For the most part, the festival is full of world premieres. So it really is the very first time anyone is seeing these films and it’s great to be able to go into them without too much expectation or hype. Plus the addition of the NEXT section has been crucial is preserving the concept of screening some films that are truly independent.