Back in warm and sunny California! Last week I spent my days in Park City, enjoying a major solo adventure. I watched movies alone, I ate alone, and enjoyed my favorite things such as film, social justice, and drinks. It was an amazing experience, and I am better for having made my decision. The week was filled with movie-watching, heated discussions about diversity, women’s rights, and climate change, and random celebrity sightings…(I saw Judd Apatow, Elijah Wood, Nigel Barker, Daveed Diggs, and Kevin Bacon, among many others).

  • The Little Hours (Followed by Q&A)– Being a shameless Dave Franco stan, and also fan of medieval history, raunchy humor, and other awesome talents (Alison Brie, Molly Shannon, Jemima Kirke, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, etc.) when I heard such a film which included these things would be at Sundance, I had to go! It was a great way to begin my festival experience. Needless to say, it was $25 well spent. Funny from beginning to end, The Little Hours kept me smiling. After the screening,  there was a Q&A with director Jeff Baena and the majority of the cast…So I did see the beautiful Dave Franco in person again, which was awesome to say the least. Too bad cowardice got in the way of me getting a picture with him- yet again.

  • The Blackhouse Foundation– I found about the Blackhouse from Tracking Board, and I wish I had known about them sooner. They are an organization that works to expand opportunities for content creators and provide resources for them. You can learn about them here. I attended the panels below, and they were great for my personal enrichment. It was also inspiring to hear from industry leaders of color.
    • Creating Content: From Margin to Mainstream– I was able to hear from various industry leaders such as Stephanie Allaine (Producer of Dear White People and Burning Sands), Justin Chon (Actor/Director of Gook), and Kimberly Steward (Producer of Manchester by the Sea)
    • VR- Breaking the Code, Knowing the Cost, Telling the Story– This was one of my favorite events. I was able to hear from leaders in the budding industry that is Virtual Reality. There were representives from Jaunt VR and Radiant Images. VR is in its infant stages, so as of now there are no gatekeepers and it is the next big thing right now, and I was amazed by how welcoming the panelists were. I was so glad to be one of the first people about VR’s many benefits (Show below is Obama’s farewell address, which one of the panelists- Amanda Shelby of Radiant Images worked on).
    • Panel: Color Below the Line– As a former fashion major, it was exciting to listen costume designers and production designers of color and learn about their creative processes (I have been trying to find the list of names, but nowhere!). For the longest time, I wanted to be a costume designer, and it was inspiring hearing from people who are actual successful in the craft.

  • Ingrid Goes West Q&A with Indiewire at Chase Sapphire– Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to get into any of the sold-out screenings of Ingrid Goes West, but I was able to go to a Q&A session the with director Matt Spicer and the main cast. It was pretty awesome to be so up close (and somewhat personal) with some major talents- including Aubrey Plaza again…who I made eye contact with a couple times. That stare, I tell you! Ingrid Goes West is definitely still on my must-see list!

Photo by Jack Dempsey/Invision for Chase Sapphire/AP Images

  • Women’s March and Rally in Park City– This past weekend, I attended my first march. With the national events that have occured in the past couple of months, and with my own personal experience, I marched for equality- especially for underrepresented women struggling to succeed. I was truly amazed to see the solidarity for women and minorities at the sister gathering in Park City. It was cold as hell, but it was worth it. I didn’t spot any celebrities while I was marching, but many were there- which was inspiring. At the rally following the march, I was able to hear (couldn’t see since I was so far back) from personalities such as Jessica Williams, Chelsea Handler, Maria Bello, Dolores Huerta, Connie Britton, and Aisha Tyler. I loved the energy. I genuinely hope that following Sundance, we continue the levels of activism that are occurring now. There were so many quotable gems, that I couldn’t keep track. I have linked the video here.

  • Before I Fall (Followed by Q&A)– Even though Before I Fall is a movie based on a YA book, it exceeded my expectations. No- I didn’t read the book, but for some reason the summary interested me. The film follows a teenage girl in a time loop after her death- where she strives to make amends so she can pass on. It is an amazing story of friendship, love, and redemption- and I can’t wait for it to be released in theaters. Although it is a secular film, a Christian message can be derived from it. Following the film, I stayed for a Q&A with director Ry Russo-Young, actress Zoey Deutch, author Lauren Oliver, and screen writer Maria Maggenti. It was truly amazing to hear from female filmmakers and the insane process for such a film. Look for Before I Fall in theaters on March 3rd!

  • Surprise Midnight Screening: World Premier of Get Out (Followed by Q&A)– I decided to roll the dice and pay for a ticket to a surprise midnight screening. As someone who is not a big fan of horror films, when Get Out was announced, I was nervous. However, as the movie played on, I really enjoyed myself at my first midnight screening. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut has set the tone for his future in the industry- which is a good one. Get Out is a horror, but it includes some amazingly clever social commentary as well. Patton Oswalt was an incognito audience member, had live streamed the Q&A, and said the comments were insane! Look for Get Out in theaters next month!

  • Premier of Burning Sands (Followed by Q&A)– I went to a Q&A at the Blackhouse for Burning Sands, and I gained an interested in the movie. I literally purchased the last ticket available the next day. Burning Sands is a movie centered around a young man who is experiencing conflict while pledging a fraternity at an HBCU. Purchased by Netflix, it is a movie you really need to watch. I really do hope it is distributed to HBCU’s in order to share its message and create dialogue. Director Gerard McMurrary is definitely a talent to look at and I wish the best for his career. Also, I attended the premier screening, where the entire cast and crew appeared.

Image result for burning sands movie

Thanks for reading!

ADRIANA THE CINEMA SOLOIST

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