Packed Sundance event draws fire marshals

PARK CITY, Utah — Variety changed the format and venue for its annual 10 Directors to Watch event Sunday, making it a panel, moderated this year by Sundance vet Mark Waters, followed by a party at the Shop that was so jam-packed, it was shut down by Park City fire marshals.

Directors Adam Elliot (“Mary and Max”), Emily Abt (“Toe to Toe”) Cherien Dabis (“Amreeka”), Shana Feste (“The Greatest”), Bohdan Slama (“The Country Teacher”) and Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”) shared at the panel discussion the highs and lows of launching their careers.

Abt said she put her crew in lacrosse uniforms and even put herself on the field to get one shot for her film after her players were sent home. Dabis discussed using her own discrimination experiences as an Arab to inform “Amreeka.”

Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“500 Days of Summer”) were among the thesps who joined industry insiders and moguls like IMDB’s Col Needham for the party.

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