I’m back from Utah, where I was working as an advisor at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. I had five projects in three days, which made for a lot of reading and meeting, picking-apart and putting-back-together.
The scripts this year were as emotionally challenging as ever — of the projects I covered, three involved the rape or death of children. 1 Only one was set in the U.S., with the others coming from the U.K., South Africa, Brazil and China. My meeting with Chinese filmmakers involved a translator, as the six things I can say in Mandarin couldn’t suffice.2 My longest meeting — the one American project — went 4 1/2 hours, flipping pages and cutting scenes.
It was an exhausting but exhilarating couple of days. It’s great to work with writers focused on making projects more honest rather than more commercial.