She's leaving the party while it's still fun

PARK CITY, Utah — Saundra Saperstein, who has been the media director of the Sundance Film Festival since its inception, has resigned.

Saperstein will remain marketing director of the Utah Film Commission, a post she has held since 1981. Prior to that, she taught acting at the U. of Utah for seven years.

She told Daily Variety that she is stepping down at Sundance because her mother taught her “to leave the party while you’re still having fun. It’s been a wonderful run.”

Saperstein was named media director of the USA Film & Video Festival, the predecessor to Sundance, in 1982. That year, 25 press representatives came to the fest. This year, more than 600 members of the media assembled in Park City for what has become one of the world’s leading venues for independent film.

“I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to Sundance, which is an enormous collaborative creative endeavor,” said Saperstein, who is known for keeping her cool under the most trying circumstances.

In fiscal 1997, ended June 30, the Sundance Film Festival generated $17 million for the state of Utah, which received an additional $132 million in film production revenues.

“Sundance is the best marketing tool for Utah film,” said Saperstein. “Industry people who come for the festival are able to see the beauty of the state. We also offer terrific crews and good support services.”

A successor to Saperstein has not yet been named. She expects to return to Sundance next year to watch films.

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