NPR logo Sundance Artists: Redford Stands for Change

Sundance Fever 2008

Sundance Artists: Redford Stands for Change

Jessica Ingram meets Robert Redford hide caption

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The Cause Collective, a group of multimedia artists at the Sundance Film Festival, just met one of the world's most handsome men.

Special to the BPP from Jessica Ingram of the Cause Collective:

Mission accomplished! We went to the Director's Brunch at the Sundance Resort last week and met Robert Redford.

It was the most amazing drive out there. Mountains, snow, frozen lakes where people are ice fishing, and two bus loads of the directors for this year's films. On the bus we talked to the Zellner brothers, whose film Goliath is screening this year. We also talked to the directors of The Linguists, about two linguists traveling around the world documenting languages on the brink of extinction. Very cool. We just kept looking at each other like, "This is crazy that we are here. Totally wonderful and crazy."

We did see Sandra Oh and Quentin Tarantino and Barrry Levinson and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me). So fun. Robert Redford spoke to all of us about the fact that Sundance is not about the hype that happens in Park City, it's about what is happening at Sundance in their film labs and in the support they try to provide filmmakers. I felt really honored to be one of the filmmakers chosen to be there. I think we all did. Redford sincerely wants there to be meaningful creation and film-making separate from major market forces. He also is all about change, and it's one of the themes of the festival. He seems to be backing up his intention with action and he is definitely working to support independent film. He told us to ignore hype and buzz and follow our work. When he was done speaking, everyone had the opportunity to speak to him, but he was majorly handled by his staff. We were finally able to get in to talk to him which was great. He said he had seen our piece twice and thought it was great.

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I also told him I was blogging for NPR and took a picture of us together. I pulled him to me and told him to look at my lens, and he looked to his friends, and said, "Look at her, she is directing me." It was cute. He was great and super supportive, and I called my mom and she was beyond excited. She's been leaving me messages, not about how my piece is going, but about whether I've met Redford. And yes m'am, I have!

When we returned to Park City we went to the NYU Tisch School Party at Zoom. It was a bit of drama getting in???again with the list. Everywhere we go, we have to be on a list, or have the right badge. Part of it is about space but most of it seems to be about exclusivity. It's a little frustrating at times, and I feel like I just want to get out of there, away from all the hype, but it's good to try to meet people, and most of the time, it's really fun. The party ended up being very chill...more wine and yummy finger food. Our highlight, besides the mac and cheese, was meeting filmmaker Alice Elliott. We all felt like she was the real deal.

We went from the Tisch party to a comedy show at Sidecar, and then to a Wine Bar hosted by the St. Regis. Very mellow and awesome music from the '80s. Then back to the New Frontier venue for the Sundance Institute's Documentary party (Sundocs). There were many wonderful people to talk to there. One person I was excited to meet was Lauren Greenfield, who is at Sundance with her film Kids + Money. Hank, Bayete, and I were in a book many years ago called 25 Under 25 and Lauren wrote the intro. Now we're in the Cause together, and at Sundance, so I was happy to touch base with her. I met her and her husband Frank Evers, director of the photo agency, VII in Los Angeles, and organizer of the New York Photo Festival, which will be in Dumbo, New York, this May. I'm definitely going to check it out. We're trying to get our piece out there to more people and spaces, so we are really working to get our schmooze on, and luckily, the people we talk to, for the most part, we like and are interested in, and they are supportive of our work, which always feels good.

So I'm writing this from the condo, in front of the fire-so nice. Ryan, Lizzie and Will are soaking in the hot tub as I write. It's a rough life.

— Special to the BPP from Jessica Ingram of the Cause Collective

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