10 to Watch worth a peek

Kudos heaped on helmers

PARK CITY — Quadrupling the floor space over last year’s fete here at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, Daily Variety‘s 10 Directors to Watch party proved the size of the throng will equal the space in party-crazed Park City.

Not only was the turnout stellar — with such guests as Kyra Sedgwick and Parker Posey milling about, along with numerous directors, producers, agents and sponsors — but nine of the 11 honored helmers (Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen constitute a pair) were present.

The Rocky Mountain showcase is the ideal place to honor such talents, said Daily Variety group VP and publisher Charles Koones in kicking things off, since Sundance is “the seat of directorial creativity.”

Sophomore helmer and honoree Rebecca Miller said all the attention, not to mention favorable reviews for her Dramatic Competition entry “Personal Velocity: Three Portraits,” left her feeling “more secure than I did at my first Sundance” (in 1995).

“This is overwhelming,” said Justin Lin, another of the 10 to Watch helmers, whose “Better Luck Tomorrow” is in competition. “This is the world premiere of our film and the audiences have been great. They went along for the ride and they got it. I’ve always liked seeing a film where you walked out and talked about it afterward.”

Another filmmaker making the rounds, Avi Fisher, summed up the schmoozathon nicely: “We meet some people and strive for the same dreams. It would be no different for a composer in 1800s Vienna.”

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