Sundance Diary Part 2: Filmmaker Andrew Ahn Shares His Festival Experience

Early morning snow in Park City, UT | Photo: Andrew Ahn

by Andrew Ahn (Film/Video MFA 11) / Special to 24700

After a hectic first few days at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, my schedule loosened up a bit, and I finally got a chance to relax and watch some films. I made it a point to see as many CalArts films as possible, which proved difficult. Screenings almost always sell out and getting to the box office early in the morning doesn’t ensure that you’ll get tickets for the film you want.

Fortunately, I was able to catch Rhys Ernst’s (Film/Video MFA 11) The Thing, Travis Wilkerson’s (Film/Video MFA 01) Fragments of Dissolution, Chris Peters’ (Interschool BFA and MFA 00) The Diatom and Aurora Guerro’s (Interschool MFA 99) Mosquita y Mari. The quality of work coming from CalArts alums is really evident. The Sundance audiences really responded to the work—the Q&As were lively and engaging.

I also watched the Early Morning Opera’s performance of Abacus in the New Frontiers section of the festival. It’s a wonderful piece and it’s really refreshing to see work like this at Sundance. Abacus producer and fellow Admissions Counselor Miranda Wright and I had a chance to catch up at the festival!

Miranda Wright and me at the Sundance Awards Ceremony | Photo: Andrew Ahn

Because of CalArts’ strong presence at the festival this year, the School of Film/Video hosted a brunch on Wednesday, Jan. 25. More than 25 alumni, faculty and Sundance programmers attended. It was a great community gathering and I hope we can continue this in the future!

CalArts at Sundance Brunch at Café Terigo | Photo: Andrew Ahn

Of course, I couldn’t forget about the Slamdance Film Festival, which was held around the same time as Sundance. I saw a great shorts block there. Both James Raymond (Film/Video BFA 10) (in collaboration with faculty James Benning) and Meejin Hong (Film/Video MFA 12) screened films at Slamdance this year.

Sundance was exhausting, but wonderful. I really enjoyed hopping from event to event, screening to screening, getting to know people who support the art of film. There’s always somewhere to be and events to check out. I made many a meal out of hors d’oeuvres.

Queer Brunch, hosted by Outfest. From L to R – Rhys Ernst, Logan Kibens (Film/Video MFA 10), Ruthie Doyle (Film/Video MFA 13), and Film Directing faculty Abigail Severance | Photo: Andrew Ahn


Film Independent Reception | Photo: Andrew Ahn


Sundance Awards Ceremony and Closing Night Party | Photo: Andrew Ahn

I had a great time at Sundance this year. The festival brought together so many different filmmakers, points-of-view and communities. It’s a vibrant cultural event, full of passion and creativity. I hope to be back in the future!

Andrew Ahn’s Sundance Diary, Part 1

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