By Melissa Houghton
Opening remarks from the Founder of Sundance Institute: “Having done this for, God it’s 34 years now since the festival started, I think we’re at a point where I can move on to a different place.” – Robert Redford
KEY PREMIERES: After the Wedding, an adaptation of Susanne Bier’s Academy Award-nominated Danish film, with Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore, and Native Son a contemporary reworking of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel. Ashton Sanders portrays Big Thomas (teenaged Chiron in 2016’s Moonlight).
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Honey Boy.
PERSONAL NOTES: Day Zero was busy – picked up credentials, received a pin for five years of volunteer service, training sessions and dinner at Grappa. Day One – I’m meeting a lot of first-time volunteers who are eager to please and sometimes anxious about what to expect now that they’re on planet Sundance. I met Boots Riley who is a panelist this year and wrote and directed Sorry to Bother You (2018). The film has been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best New Feature. I met a producer on Hail Satan? and the film’s occult historian/adviser. I mentioned that I’m looking forward to catching the documentary. Smiles and excitement.
Until tomorrow, M.
Childhood memories of sitting with hushed audiences in dark theatres – before, during and sometimes after a shocking conclusion, shaped Melissa’s love of movies. Her passion for film spans many genres and go-to’s are Indies, Sci-fi and Costume dramas. An image of Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Ladyexplains her life-long love of hats. Melissa works in marketing by day. She feels the arts saved her life and is a devoted year-round and festival volunteer for several arts and cultural organizations. She’s been a Toronto International Film Festival volunteer since 2003. Melissa recently fulfilled a wish to join the Sundance Film Festival volunteer roster and has a desire to meet Robert Redford. Melissa will be returning to Sundance for her fifth straight year in 2019. During this Sundance working-vacation, Melissa volunteers on the Artist Relations Box Office team as Box Office Associate. Melissa’s desert island picks are Alien, The Godfather, The Witches of Eastwick, Little Miss Sunshine and My Fair Lady. Melissa’s focus will be independent films. By the way, she has not met Robert Redford, yet.