John Cooper: Festival Themes Emerge Organically
Lots of people will be picking through the films at the Sundance Film Festival in search of a common theme, but in an interview with Reuters, festival director John Cooper notes that those themes are not pre-selected by festival organizers, but rather emerge from the films organically, reflecting the concerns and curiosities of our time:
Q: When you pick films for Sundance, do you have themes in mind or particular types of movies you want to screen?
A: “No. We do the opposite. What we do is set categories like this year’s “Next” section (for very low-budget work) or “Premieres” that movies fit into. That is how it works. We’re not ever looking for a theme or expecting one because we’d always be chasing our tails.”
Q: Then, from this year’s selections, did any themes emerge? Put another way, what’s on filmmakers’ minds?
A: “In the broadest sense, there seems to be a very eclectic and personal view of the world. We found the stories coming from an authentic place, very personal, and not so much worrying about commercial possibilities. They are sticking more to the truth within themselves and the stories they have to tell. That said, there are several films dealing with religion, faith and redemption, and we kind of can’t help but think it has something to do with the world we are living in.”
The rest of the interview can be found here.
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