Sundance alum: James Mangold

Directors remember their first time

I’m incredibly grateful to the festival for giving me a launching pad for my movie (‘Heavy’), but despite the excitement, it still took me eight months to find a distributor. It wasn’t the magic bullet … Sundance is another kind of audience test screening. Studios take mainstream movies to the mall; indies take their films to Sundance. There’s the same kind of laundry list of things that should be in indie movies that exists for studio movies. Sure, they’re different things, but there’s still a list. When the things on that list aren’t in your film, then there’s the same brutality of rejection. And there’s always a moment at the festival when you can feel the guillotine come down, when everyone knows these films got picked up and these films didn’t. I don’t think that’s wrong, but it’s not outside the beltway of Hollywood, it’s not Camelot. Sundance is just the place where people now go to figure out how to leverage new independent voices into the system.”

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