Few things earn an actor, director, screenwriter or producer street cred better than Sundance. This indie film festival was established in 1981 by the original Sundance Kid himself, Robert Redford, to create an environment that would effectively "foster independence discovery and new voices in American film." The Sundance Institute is the end-all, be-all of independent film showcases in the U.S., supporting features, documentaries, film music and theatre, and putting talented go-getters in touch with seasoned professionals in the film industry. Each year in January, the Sundance Film Festival is held in and around Park City Utah as a celebration and platform for these extraordinary individuals and their works of cinematic art.
One such individual is my colleague and WW buddy, Nina Parikh, who is a program manager in the Mississippi Film Office, a division of MDA. As if getting to go to Sundance isn’t cool enough, Nina’s film Ballast was one of 16 out of thousands selected for the festival’s Dramatic Competition. The entire picture was filmed in Mississippi and cast only with Mississippi actors, only one of whom had prior acting experience. Already getting great reviews, Ballast screenings will continue until Saturday’s awards ceremony. Nina and fellow producer Lance Hammer are keeping their fingers crossed that they’ll find distribution to bring their masterpiece to screens all over the nation, especially in their home state of Mississippi!
Woo hoo, Nina!