The population explosion at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is in large part due to the surfeit of journalists covering the event. Although independent films account for roughly 3% of the domestic box office, more than 300 members of the Fourth Estate attended the event, all preside over by marketing director Saundra Saperstein.
That’s roughly three reporters for every director.
Until several years ago, a tacit understanding existed that each consumer publication would send just one reporter.
This year the New York Times had three staffers; the Los Angeles Times sent two, plus several stringers. The New Yorker, Time, Details, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, People, Glamour and Vogue all had representatives at the festival. Even UCLA’s Daily Bruin had a man on the scene. And some found it curious that Us – not known as a champion of independent cinema – sent two staff members to the fest.
But the award for saturation coverage would have to go to Entertainment Weekly. That publication, which is a Sundance sponsor, assigned one of its staffers to spend the entire festival following around one of the 18 filmmakers in the dramatic competition. Readers of the Time Warner publication can look forward to the heartwarming coming-of-age story in an upcoming issue. Hopefully, the film will find a distributor before then.