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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

The Casone Exchange
  • January 28, 2009 10:20 AM UTC by Cheryl Casone

    No Sun at Sundance

    I have been gone over a week as I decided to head out for my usual trip to the Sundance Film Festival. I’ve been taking this trip with friends from San Francisco for several years, and except for missing last year due to a certain business channel launch, I haven’t missed a festival.

    My return was quite the disappointment. First, the down economy was front and center this year. Usually there are a barrage of corporate sponsors that throw parties, put their logos on Sundance vehicles, and make sure water bottles with their logo are handed out to everyone film goer who has a free hand. But, not this year. Attendance was also down by about a third from last year.

    And the mood was also somewhat sour. The volunteers tried their best to put smiles on their faces, but I have a feeling they were relieved there were less people and chaos. That’s the thing about the Festival, it has become so exclusive and elitist (not what Robert Redford pictured) I did find myself surprised at how negative and even rude some of the locals were. I don’t know if it’s because they hate Sundance, or their tips were not the same, but for once we were able to get tables anywhere we wanted. Maybe if the Park City workers and some of the Sundance folks were a little nicer to the “un-Hollywood” crowd, they’d spark more tourism money coming in the other 51 weeks of the year.

    As for movie deals, there were some made, but something else I have discovered is that there are more “mainstream” pictures showing up each year. These don’t compete in the festival, it’s just a reason to exclude (again) the average folks so Hollywood types can throw themselves big parties and congratulate themselves on how wonderful and talented they are. Maybe they should focus on the LA awards shows and leave Sundance to it’s original intent? Looks like corporate America has taken the sun out of Sundance, and I hope the folks in Park City and those who work the festival year around focus back on the average person next year.

    CC

    CORRECTION:  One of you alerted our web team about Hewlett Packard still acting as a sponsor.  I stand corrected, and I did go to a couple of great films I really enjoyed:  The Anacharist’s Wife from Spain, and Taking Chance with Kevin Bacon.  I was grateful to the director for not politicizing the movie, and keeping the focus on the family and the son they lost.

chuck

Cheryl I've always wanted to go to this film festival. Not to mention the Cannes Film Festival too. Why? I'm a diehard film buff. Most of the independent films which get viewed and get a distrubtor don't often make it into the small markets when they're released. Either they're limited release for Oscar Consideration and then wide release but often most don't get wide release becouse of fininicial constraints. Still I would go to Sundance Film Festival anyway and take my digital cameras too. Of course when it comes to films I would have a hard time making up my mind where to go but I would ask and such to find out. Now for tinseltown to play elists with the public this way too is real stupid. I wonder how many regions of the country have been discriminated becouse thier films didn't meet regional demographics. I can tell you by experince that even the most succesful films and oscar considered films have by passed Vicksburg and the Southeast. Now that's rude and inconsiderate on some in tinseltown. Cheryl u should confront them on the subject of cinema closings. Less the cinema houses,less the box office revenue and less the choice for the consumer.

January 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Tim McNally

Let's face it, people with fame & money don't have to wait in lines, ride mass transit or generaly feel helpless in times like these. I accept the fact that they no longer have to worry as much as I do. However, it doesn't keep me from watching an Eastwood movie or watching a ball player who makes millions. FDR never had to work a day in his life (He won the sperm lottery) but Harry Truman had to work like a dog on his family farm . . . both were great presidents. I'd take either one of them over O'Bama.

January 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm

LarryB

This was my first year attending Sundance and it was a blast. I don't know about corporate sponsored parties, I just went for the movies and they were great. Orginally I told myself if a third of the movies we were were seeing were good, the trip would be a success. As it turned out, 14 out of the 16 movies I saw were very good. I doubt I'll be that lucky the next time I go. Did you watch any movies while you were there?

January 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm

john cooper

By the way- HP is still a sponsor. Did you not see a film with their logo on each screening. I disagree with you on all counts. Your festival was not my festival

January 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Question

An interestingly contradictory post. Do you want the corporations there to give you free stuff and reduce the cost of the festival for attendee's through sponsorship, or do you not want them there with their big budget movies? This does sound a little to me like someone saying,"I was cool before the rest of you were cool because I went to Sundance 10 years ago."

January 28, 2009 at 11:42 am

about this blog

  • Cheryl Casone joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in September 2007 as an anchor. Prior to FBN, Casone served as a correspondent for FOX News Channel’s (FNC) business unit and was a regular guest on FNC’s Your World with Neil Cavuto. Casone brings years of experience covering finance, business, and consumer news to FBN.

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