Actress and filmmaker Lake Bell, who directed a short film that premiered at Sundance in 2011 and co-starred in last year's festival feature "Black Rock," said coming to Park City in January reminds her of going back to college.
There's a campus spirit among festival organizers, audiences and especially the filmmakers, said Bell, who returns this time with her feature directing debut, "In a World ...", in which she plays a woman struggling to follow in her father's career as a voice-over star.
Festival organizers even like to call the year's group of filmmakers the "Class of 2013."
Like college, Sundance is a safe haven, a place of camaraderie and mentoring before graduates have to head into the real world — in the case of filmmakers, before they have to cope with the business side of show business.
"Sundance is right before the scary stuff starts. The judgment and the reviews and the forums, all that silly stuff," Bell said. "It's the purity before the storm."
Festival director John Cooper jokes that he would not mind a real storm — something to maintain that purity and keep the real world from intruding on the little bubble of creative expression that is Sundance.
"I hope we all do get snowed in," Cooper said.
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