By Katherine Barton
Sundance Film Festival occurred on January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Utah, as an event for people to display their films, to perform, and take part in discussions. Some of the films shown at the festival become popular due to their creativity and the publicity they receive.
One of the most awarded films was Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon which won Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, and Best Ensemble. The film is about a teenager who befriends a classmate suffering from cancer.
The winner of Best Director and Best First Feature was The Witch, a horror movie set in New England in 1630 about a family unraveling after their newborn vanishes and their crops begin to fail.
The Wolfpack was chosen as Best Documentary Feature. It is about some brothers who are locked away from society and only collect their views of society from the films that they watch until one brother escapes and their world crumbles.
Another noted movie was Dope, a coming-of-age drama/comedy about a nerd living in a tough neighborhood in California who goes from being a geek, to being dope, to being himself.
The movie,Tangerine, was shot completely on three iPhone 5s. Tangerine is about a transgender sex worker on the search for her pimp who broke her heart.
This year’s festival also presented a rise in virtual reality experiences. One such experience was Birdly, a virtual flight simulator which gives the feeling of flying as a bird over San Francisco. Another virtual reality experience involved the viewer in the horrors of rape. The viewer first sees the the event from the eyes of the rapist and then from the victim. Project Syria allows a viewer to walk around the streets of Syria while it is being bombed, virtually. The immersion into current events made Project Syria memorable to many participants.
More information and a list of all of the films at the festival can be found at http://www.sundance.org/