“Well,” she says, “I am one of those people who got into the film business because I wanted to make the world a better place. I am a creative person, and I want to create something beautiful and useful — so for me it’s a matter of personal responsibility.”
The result of her own responsibility, to put it mildly, doesn’t seem to be a film that’s getting a lot of attention. She is not alone here: the most recent film to have won an award at Sundance was 2012’s Black Swan, and “American Honey,” a movie that starred her husband, Ben Stiller.
Yet she says that if she was in a position to put herself out there, “I’d be going to Sundance again. I would be working on films that I wanted to see again, and maybe even make.” She also says that, as she continues to focus on her family, the time she’s going to spend doing that doesn’t seem to be as important. “I have plenty of time for it now, and I want to have a great time with my husband,” she says.
Her decision to not participate in the film festival is consistent with others — like the people of South Carolina — who felt neglected by this year’s Sundance, with very few films making headlines. “One of my main concerns about Sundance was that it doesn’t really have the same impact on the rest of the country,” says Jennifer Siebert, an author who is president of the National Audubon Society. “It seemed to us that the number of films in the Sundance lineup seemed to have been growing over the years, while the number that make it to theaters seems to have stagnated. We thought that a new kind of movie-making conference was needed, with people not only from the industry but from outside the industry — not just the new or small. So we came together in a conference that would take on this mission in 2014.”
Siebert created the organization, called Sundance Film Festival Partners, which will bring together other film festival partners, like the New York Film Festival and the LA Film Festival, to promote new or independent films as well as feature-length films. For example in her presentation, Siebert mentioned a feature-length documentary film from New Orleans called We Are The People. The film had been released on VOD in a month, and Siebert had made a “thank you note for the time and effort put into bringing this film to audiences.” But she
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