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January 24, 2012 – Park City in January over the decades has always attracted the “parasite” (quipped by Redford famously) and loser pop-up filmmaker festivals who never made the Sundance grade. Slumdance (1997) was huge hit and took on Slamdance in a fight to the death, but they lasted just a year. Slamdunk and NoDance stuck a round for few more years. TromaDance, LapDance (Trey & Matt's party) and Skizz's Son of Samdance all blew their wad into the late January dirty snow. The grim economy in 2009 wiped out the last of them for good with only X-Dance (extreme sports film fest) still very much around.

Then in late November 2011, I blogged THIS MANIFESTO, (now widely regarded as Das Kapital for disenfranchised filmmakers globally) and called for a return to Park City in the name of OccupySundance. Last week two revolutionaries appeared in Park City under nom de guerre’s and established OccupySundance and OccupySundanceFilmFestival respectively.

I had a covert email correspondence with them earlier this week to hear how the struggle was progressing.


Having subversively set up OccupySundance in the bourgeois establishment Cisero's Ristorante, filmmaker DJ Viola found time to answer a few questions.

Q. Who are you and how is it going?

DJ Viola - Filmmaker and TV director based in Los Angeles

Things here are great. Truly. The response has been amazing from fellow filmmakers and general patrons of the festival, let alone the locals who often feel left out. It's become the filmmaker hangout I had hoped to create. People come down to this subterranean pub and immediately drop their "main street" guard and just honestly talk film. Not how great they are, which I'm sure many are, but rather how passionate they are and have to be to make movies. I love it. The personal DVD players have been a hit. Nobody has watched just one movie. They just keep ordering them up. Saturday an Australian distributor, frustrated at the "lists" he wasn't on elsewhere, made camp in a back booth and watched movies nonstop for hours. And Props to DP Chris Ekstein for giving an impromptu seminar on his new baby "RED Scarlett" to the panting attendees of Occupy Sundance.

The bigger projector screenings have been a blast. Excited filmmakers watching their films with an engaged and (film) educated crowd is the ultimate. Then the ensuing casual bar atmosphere Q&As make me wish I had a bar like this all year round back in LA.

OccupySundance will be in Park City through the 29th at Cisero's Ristorante on Main Street or HERE.



Meanwhile On the other side of Town…



OccupySundanceFilmFestival has set up at the Park City Yoga Studio and for the last 4 days had an open call for filmmakers to arrive and show their films from 7:30 - LATE @1662 Bonanza Dr.

Tim Schwartz is an award winning filmmaker from Los Angeles, Ca. He has made Community: Common Unity, a feature length documentary about the story of his quest to create a community for himself and his broken mother, a Jonestown survivor who lived in the shadows of her famous father, Casablanca Screenwriter, Julius Epstein. He focuses on changing the world one small step at a time using film as his conduit. He is currently heavily involved in the OccupyWallStreet movement and spent two months filming in New York. They are screening a selection of OWS films made during and about last years events.

Q. How is it going Tim?

The Occupy Sundance Film Festival has been great. It has been challenging being little David against Goliath aka Sundance but we have attracted some really special people to our event where we have had great discussions about how we can build more community in life. In terms of movies we have been to busy working to see any. … .. the experience was great but we must find a way to break free of corporations they control our lives even in the arts aka Sundance.

Q. What next?

We wrap up the OccupySundance film festival tomorrow night (Tuesday night). Our plan is to take the festival on the road and play it at every major city around the country and hopefully if that goes well take it internationally.

Contact Tim HERE to bring OccupySundanceFilmFestival to your town.

The Salt lake tribune ran THIS ARTICLE on the events.



Inspiring…Gracias Comrades,

Dan Harris
Cape Town, South Africa
On twitter @biginvegas