After the jam-packed World Cinema filmmakers' meetings Wednesday morning and my last screening of Women Without Men, we are flew home to LA for two days before taking off for Rotterdam Cinemart and Berlin.
Sundance has been very fruitful, filled with meaningful meetings, conversations with industry players and a good sampling of films.
The tone of Returning to Roots does pervade, mainly because the number of industryites seems really sparse and the streets are so quiet and the off-site swag lounges have disappeared. Industryites meet at parties where they can actually hear one another's thoughts and see each other at screenings. Gone are the lodges giving massages to the likes of Paris Hilton and stars with nothing to do with the Sundance Film Festival. Back to basics, if not back to roots.
Ticket sales are up, domestic sales down, and I would say international visitor numbers are up.
Again the documentaries are dominant.
The biggest groundswell here comes from the discussions about digital exhibition and marketing. One year has made a huge difference here and the indies have recognized the vast difference between their business models and that of the majors.
That marks a true return to roots and is cause for optimism and a new proliferation of distribution companies.