The 30th year of Sundancing begins today and runs through the 26th. Exciting times for all of the filmmakers as they get ready for their first screenings and remain hopeful for a big deal. Last year, Fruitvale Station came out on top and the year before that, Beasts of the Southern Wild went all the way to the Oscars. Like always, the fest has some big names in the midst of newcomers but founder, Robert Redford told Variety that he believes that this year is different, “It’s going a little back to our roots, in terms of very different independent films that are even more different than they have been in the last few years.”
By “going a little back to our roots”, hopefully that means the fest produces some gems like it did in 1989 with Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape or in 1992 with Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs or in 1994, Kevin Smith’s Clerks. The fest is celebrating the class of ’94 with a screening of Clerks introduced by Smith whom will also be on a panel that focuses on what was a very exciting independent movement.
Twenty years ago, an explosion of new talent at the Sundance Film Festival boldly marked the start of a new era in independent film. When the class of 1994 took the stage at the Festival, it was not only a watershed moment in the industry but an unequivocal statement that the engine of this movement was its diversity—a range of passionate voices absent from mainstream cinema. Independence afforded them the opportunity to take ownership of their stories, appropriate the means of production, and bring unique perspectives to cinema audiences.
Over the next several days we’ve invited current Sundance filmmakers and artists to guest blog for us, so check back daily to read about their films and influences. Today, being the beginning of the fest as well as Throwback Thursday, here are some clips of our favorite Sundance films, many which were part of the exciting independent movement.
Clerks will screen on Friday, January 24 at 11:59 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City.
Find more info on the films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival here.