Sundance Diary Day One Thursday, January 28, 2021:
It’s Sundance week, but few if any filmmakers or media pros are trekking to Park City, Utah. This Year’s Sundance Film Festival is all virtual due to the spread of COVID-19. Our smartphones are festival movie screens. Our couches are replacing red carpets. A custom-built platform allows Sundance 2021 attendees to stream premieres similar to how we’ve been watching movies throughout the time of COVID-19. What’s unique is experiencing digital gathering spots from the Artist Lounge to Main Street. After a year of joining virtual brainstorms featuring just about every online event platform, I’m happy to share that the custom Sundance Festival platform works beautifully. My avatar is having a blast sprinting across the New Frontier hub and looking forward to networking with all the Sundance 2021 virtual attendees.
What I’m Watching:
‘In the Same Breath’
With ‘In the Same Breath,’ making its premier at reimagined 2021 Sundance Film Festival, the political story of our lifetimes transforms into the personal journey of a mother and her son caught in the coronavirus outbreak during a New Year’s visit with family near Wuhan China.
Stand-out documentary filmmaker Nanfu Wang (‘One Child Nation’), born in China, captures the emotional toll of Covid-19 by replacing news headlines with intimate stories of personal losses and recoveries.
Many of the film’s political topics are familiar to audiences who’ve been following the COVID-19 news in detail. What’s breathtaking and new are the individual stories Wang and her team of ten-plus cinematographers gather for an emotionally riveting feature from start to finish.
What I’m Learning:
‘When You Finish Saving the World’
Creator Jesse Eisenberg joins actor Finn Wolfhard and Rachel Ghiazza. EVP, Head of US Content at Audible, in the Variety Streaming Room for a virtual case study of his audio-first production ‘When You Finish Saving the World.’ Eisenberg pulls the curtain back on the creative…