A great documentary for those interested in independent work
Elias Rima | MIAMI, FL USA | 03/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Is a great documentary, because it shows how Sundance Film Festival works. Interviews with new and not so new in the film arena directors. Is inspiring to see all kind of people talking about their work and points of view about the festival. What they gave for being there, what they won, what they lost. I ask to Director Zenovich to make a second part of this video, because with the new Digital Revolution, it would be interesting to see the impact in the film festivals, compared with the time when she did the current video (1997), when digital revolution had not begun yet."
Accurate depiction of the spirit of Sundance; but needs an u
Nathan Andersen | Florida | 01/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fine little documentary that captures both the excitement and frustration of the independent film scene at Sundance. It focuses on filmmakers who have brought their films to Sundance (and other festivals that take place in Park City at the same time, like "Slamdance" and, for a time, "Slumdance"), and addresses the ways that economics and artistry overlap at Sundance. Some excellent filmmakers are featured, and since the film is about a decade old now, many of these have gone on to very big things: Neil LaBute (who had only done In the Company of Men), Stephen Soderbergh (who was at the time just beginning Out of Sight -- Traffic - Criterion Collection and Erin Brockovich and the Ocean's Trilogy were so far unthought), and Greg Mottola (still just a Daytripper and not yet Superbad) just to mention a few. The film does a good job demystifying Sundance a bit, while still showing its excitement and importance. As another reviewer suggested, this doc could definitely use an update -- the number of people who go to Sundance has exploded since the film was made, and the number of submissions to the festival has nearly quadrupled, and with the rise of new digital technology and the growing importance of documentary (which is, ironically, completely unmentioned in this doc) and international film (also left out) to the festival there is a lot that could be covered here. Still, I can say that having been at Sundance five times the picture of the festival captured in "Independent's Day" remains fairly accurate. This doc would make a nice companion piece to A Decade Under the Influence which chronicles the changes taking place in Hollywood beginning in the seventies when "mavericks" took over Hollywood until the 80s when with the rise of blockbuster productions the business folks took it back."
Interesting, But Lacks Depth
Martin A Hogan | San Francisco, CA. (Hercules) | 05/26/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Independent's Day is a brief film shot on less than a modest budget. Interspersed between candid interviews with dozens of novice filmmakers are cuts of the infamous week at the Sundance Film Festival. Notable comments are made by Sydney Pollack, Robert Ebert, actress Parker Posey, director Steven Soderberg ("Sex, Lies & Videotape") and many others. Robert Redford appears briefly in archive footage from past Sundance events. There is much to hear from these young filmmakers, such as the horror stories of impossible deadlines, going into great debt and other hard luck stories, only to have their film dismissed and lost forever. More interesting is the offspring event for independent filmmakers like "Slamdance", a vital alternative to Sundance. It's worthy to note that in 1987, 50 films were submitted to Sundance and 800 were submitted in 1997. This is a direct result of the huge success of previous Sundance award winners. It would have been nice to have heard more stories of the parties and the extent to which filmmakers will go to get their films made. Some of them are outrageous. For a short, `independent' film, this documentary slightly satisfies, but falls short when considering what it might have been. A fitting example of what happens to most of the Sundance entries."