Scooch over Lena Dunham, all the real girls are now on Sundance:
“You haven’t seen sexy in a wheelchair,” says one of the stars of the new Sundance Channel reality show, Push Girls, about a group of telegenic best friends in Los Angeles who are paralyzed from the neck or the waist down.
Premiering June 4, the 14-part documentary series follows Angela, Auti, Mia and Tiphany, a band of struggling Hollywood dancer/model/actresses, as they doll up in high-heels and make-up, work out, drive themselves around town, talk about sex, relationships, career aspirations and personal goals, flirt with strangers, debate the pros and cons of having babies with boyfriends and husbands, and navigate the daily challenges of life in a wheelchair.
One of the most talked-about—and harrowing—Sundance films wasn’t a film in the traditional sense. Hunger In L.A., which screened at the New Frontier Pavilion, is an interactive experience that puts participants in the middle of a shocking food line incident. Its creator, journalist-turned-documentarian Nonny de la Peña talks about the making of the project and its potential impact beyond Sundance.
Toronto director Jamie Travis was one of the breakout stars of Sundance this year—his ribald For A Good Time Call was picked up by Focus Features. Travis talks about his path to, and from, Sundance.
Written by Lauren Miller (wife of Seth Rogen) and Katie Anne Naylon, and starring Miller, Ari Graynor, and Justin Long, For A Good Time, Call… is the story of two longtime enemies who, through economic circumstances and the influence of a shared gay BFF (Long), become unlikely roommates and start a successful phone-sex business. The semi-autobiographical crowd-pleaser (it draws heavily on Naylon’s experiences) drew belly laughs and blushes in equal measure from Sundance audiences, and was picked up by Focus Features for $2 million, one of the fest’s largest deals.
“We know story. However, it’s the ‘telling’ of stories that is becoming ever more complex and ever more exciting. This is because we have seen two massive shifts. One is the distribution of technology—the other is the distribution of creativity. Everyone is a storyteller, and with technology more and more people have access to tell theirs to other people all over the world.”
Jonathan Mildenhall, Vice President, Global Advertising Strategy and Content Excellence at Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Company and ad agency McCann Erickson are exploring the future of storytelling as the inaugural underwriters of the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Story Lab. Read on->
Is technological connectivity mankind’s next evolutionary step?
"We created computers as an extension of our brains, and now we’re connecting through those computers and the Internet cloud as a way of expanding them," - Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker & Webby Awards founder
In her new documentary, Connected, which premiered at Sundance this year, Shlain sees digital connection as the next step in harnessing our collective brainpower—as long as we don’t lose our ability to relate to each other.
For the Sundance premiere of his new film Red State, Kevin Smith staged a satirical protest that took aim at the crumbling independent distribution model and — what else? — red state mentality. Smith’s posse went head to head with a Kansas baptist congregation and the signage is GREAT.