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SUNDANCE 2014 | @AFFRM DELEGATION JOURNAL

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An active team of @AFFRM Mavericks from Los Angeles and Philadelphia bundled up and boarded flights en route to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival 2014. Together, they formed our 2014 @AFFRM Sundance Delegation. Here, they share the highlights of their trek and favs from the fest.

Name: Julia Brewer
Occupation: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
@AFFRM Maverick Branch: Los Angeles

 

Favorite Film @ Sundance:

DIFERET directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

Amharic with English subtitles, 2014, 99 minutes, color, Ethiopia

Synopsis: Three hours outside of Addis Ababa, a bright 14-year-old girl is on her way home from school when men on horses swoop in and kidnap her. The brave Hirut grabs a rifle and tries to escape, but ends up shooting her would-be husband. In her village, the practice of abduction into marriage is common and one of Ethiopia’s oldest traditions.

I was able to screen "Difret" thanks to Philly Mav Stephanie Malson (Who had a better position on the wait list than I did). I screened 2 films at The Egyptian Theater saw the majority of each, but missed the endings of both due to time constraints. Difret was excellent & I highly recommend it! A Woman's work is never done, so many modern day atrocities cloaked in "tradition" abound globally. This film provided that stark reminder.

Favorite Panel: 

Financing Film @The_Blackhouse (Our Chief #Renegade did some Myth busting) 

Favorite Restaurant: 

Butcher's Chop House & Bar 751 Main St. Park City, UT "Shrimp & Grits" I wish I had some right now 😃

Favorite Sundance Experience: 

LA Mavs riding the shuttle heading to @The_BlackHouse after meeting w/ Ava & a Sistah sitting a few seats behind me & directly across from Tekquiree taps T & shows her a cell phone screen shot of all of us & Ava & asks her is this you...the Sistah was Stephanie Allain, Ava had shared our moment w/ her...#onlyatSundance #OnlyAFFRM. Oh & meeting Jay Ellis at The Black House! My experiences were really too numerous to count, it was just Awesome!

Would you recommend Sundance?

Film Festival to other aspiring filmmakers/film lovers & why: I highly recommend attending Sundance w/ an awesome group of people after advance planning. Get a tix pkg or pre purchase tix! We met so many wonderful people & it was the best place for networking. Our weekend orbited the Black House a staple for us melanin rich individuals! I will definitely be attending in the future! Sundance carries a potent aroma of inspiration! Go & be inspired. 

 

Name:  Angela McCrae
Occupation:  Coordinator/Freelance Writer
AFFRM Maverick Branch: Los Angeles

 

Favorite Film @ Sundance:

FINDING FELA (only film I saw)

Favorite Restaurant: 

Toss up between The Blackhouse Foundation brunch & FREE Morning Star all weekend.

Favorite Sundance Experience:

Connecting with Ava Duvernay at our meet up and getting to know her on a personal level - getting the scoop on some her most publicized projects.  Also meeting TONS of great, inspiring people that were so welcoming and professional.

Would you recommend Sundance? 

YES!  Great films, great people and great brand placement.  The experience allows you to see things differently and be surrounding by creative people and the executives that support their art which allows deals to be made and new ways to bring your passion into existence.

Name: Nichole Aliece Celistan
Occupation: Producer/Production Manager
AFFRM Maverick Branch: Los Angeles

 

Favorite Film @ Sundance:

FINDING FELA

Favorite Panel:

Women - Provoking Change, Empowering Film

Favorite Restaurant:

Butcher's Shop

Favorite Sundance Experience:

AFFRM Delegation Meeting & Blackhouse Panels and Parties

Would you recommend Sundance:

Yes, I would definitely recommend Sundance Film Festival to other aspiring filmmakers/film lovers & why: If you're a lover of films I would definitely recommend attending Sundance. You're able to see films before they open in theaters and attend numerous panels where you can obtain insightful information. While at Sundance, my sister and I met two people who may be able to help us find funding for our documentary. It was a life changing experience for us and spending the weekend with six likeminded AFFRM Mavericks was amazing.

Name: Kenya McDonald
Occupation: Writer/Producer/Production Accountant
AFFRM Maverick Branch: Los Angeles

 

Favorite Film @ Sundance:

HELLIUM

Favorite Restaurant:

Butcher's Shop on Main Street

Favorite Sundance Experience:

My favorite experience was the Affirm Mavericks meeting with Ava. Being my first time meeting her she was so very down to earth and warm spirited. Just great energy all the way around. It made me realize no matter how big you become in the industry you can still be true to yourself and remain humble. My second favorite experience was watching the time like a hawk in order to go onto the Sundance app and try and be waitlisted for upcoming screenings. A little on the edge wondering which waitlist number you were going to get, but worth it once you saw the actual movie.

Would you recommend Sundance?

I would absolutely recommend it. The energy, the people, the screenings were very inspiring. There wasn't a person there who wasn't pleasant and forthcoming with helpful information. Everyone had the same agenda...to succeed as a filmmaker (or help someone succeed) no matter what role you play in it. The connections I made I truly value and will make sure I keep in touch and cultivate those relationships. It was filmmaking at its finest and that is an experience that every filmmaker should experience at least once.

Name: Nakisha Celistan
Occupation: Producer
AFFRM Maverick Branch: Los Angeles

 

Favorite Film @ Sundance:

FINDING FELA

Favorite Panel:

New Media and how it relates to your film

Favorite Restaurant:

Blackhouse

Favorite Sundance Experience:

Networking and meeting other filmmakers

Would you recommend Sundance?

I would definitely recommend "the dance" to aspiring filmmakers/film lovers. I have never experienced a community of so many different cultures who spoke through a form an expression that touched so many issues and ideas. I was amazed by so many creative minds and literally in heaven. I plan to go every year moving forward.

Name: Tekquiree Chenell
Occupation: Actress/Producer
AFFRM Maverick Branch: Los Angeles

 

Favorite Film @ Sundance:

Wow! Do I really have to pick one? Can I pick one per category? DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, HELLION and FINDING FELA

Favorite Panel:

Film Finance Panel (ish got real) :-)

Favorite Restaurant:

Black House. I loved the free food and drinks. Plus, it felt like home and it was also the meeting/party spot.

Favorite Sundance Experience:

Hanging with my girls, Philly Mavs and Ms. Ava DuVernay

Would you recommend Sundance?

Absolutely! I finally felt I belonged, there was no fakeness, the energy was infectious and I was inspired the entire time.