The Daily Buzz: Sundance Episode 1


The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz director Brian Knappenberger joins FSLC Daily Buzz Thursday.

Listen to our first podcast from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival right here, or subscribe on iTunes! 

The Daily Buzz kicked off today on Main Street in Park City, UT as the Sundance Film Festival launched its 30th year. U.S. Doc Competition film Dinosaur 13 is one of this year's four official opening films and its director Todd Miller dropped by for the podcast along with fellow Sundance filmmaker Brian Knappenberger (The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz).

Sundance's Docs received a boost today courtesy of the Oscars. Four of this year's five Documentary nominees debuted at last year's Sundance Film Festival. The Oscars were, not surprisingly, a topic of Daily Buzz's Hot Topics segment today. Eric Kohn, chief critic of Indiewire and the Film Society's John Wildman and Brian Brooks mulled over the nominees, and perhaps just as interestingly, its omissions, including Sundance founder Robert Redford, who was passed over for a Best Actor nomination in J.C. Chandor's All Is Lost.

But it is Sundance that will rule the next week and a half for the legions of filmmakers, industry, press and film fans that flock here. Kohn noted that returning filmmakers are a natural draw for Sundance vets, including new work slated to screen from Joe Swanberg (Happy Christmas), David Zellner (Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter) and Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins) to name a few. But Sundance is famous for discovery, and like past years, this year's festival is packed with filmmakers that have never been to the festival. "We haven't met the people that I am going to be thrilled about," said Wildman.

Todd Miller has been making film and shorts for over a decade. This year, his Dinosaur 13 will have its World Premiere in competition, chronicling an unprecedented saga in American history, detailing a fierce battle to possess a treasure from ancient history, a 65 million year-old dinosaur. It is, however, unique among most because it is considered the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.

Veteran documentary filmmaker Brian Knappenberger focuses his story, The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz in the digital age through a personal story of a computer programming genius. Aaron Swartz emerged as a pioneer of the internet through his activism, education and politics. He was indicted on multiple charges in 2011 and 2012, which began a complex series of events that left the internet community reeling. Shortly after, Swartz ws found dead of an apparent suicide in his Brooklyn apartment at the age of 26.

On today's program we also discussed the recent Manohla Dargis article in the New York Times that bemoaned the number of films being acquired at a festival like Sundance. IFC Films' Arianna Bocco and Cinetic's Ryan Werner gave their view  on, "Are there too many movies?" 

"There are so many different ways that audiences are watching films," explained Arianna Bocco, head of acquisitions for IFC Films, "There's really never too many good films, it's the critics responsibility to curate them, too."

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Robert Redford Touts Sundance and Addresses Oscar Snub image

Robert Redford Touts Sundance and Addresses Oscar Snub

Robert Redford reacts to not receiving an Oscar nomination as the Sundance Film Festival opened Thursday. Acknowledging awards and distribution are a business, the actor/director/producer said he was grateful to return to his acting roots, while also touting the three decades of the festival he founded.

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