Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hey there everyone,

I have been trying to access this site from the Adobe lounge here at Sundance for the last three days and have had no luck at all! But I just stepped into the AOL lounge and voila, finally I can log on to my account. Fortunately I, along with all the other Reel Grrls have been blogging regularly for the last three days here if you care to visit:

Anyhoo, it's been a lot of fun visiting this crazy famous festival, what a scene! We have gotten to see a lot of amazing films already, with several more in the works before we take off. We've been to some fun events and gotten lots of free stuff. There's an air of excitement that hangs over everything here, from the dressed-to-the-hilt folks cruising the streets to the thousands of cameras and movie shoots that seem to be going on to the skilift running right through the middle of town. There's a free shuttle back and forth between all the theaters, which are further apart than you'd expect for a small town like this.

It's taken some time to figure out the system here at Sundance. It was difficult to purchase tickets in advance and we didn't get many of our first choices. But on our first full day here we learned the hard way that if you don't arrive right on time for your movie, even if you have tickets, you will likely not get in. That was a pretty big bummer. But it goes the other way too: If you want to see a movie you don't have a ticket for, you can go to the theater 2 hours or more before the show and stand in the waitlist line where you will get a number. Then you come back a half hour before the show starts and line up in the wailist line by order of your number, and if that many people with tickets don't show up in time then you could get lucky and buy a ticket for $10 (instead of the $16 for advance tix). Unfortunately this can be tough if you are in another movie at that time. So it's all very confusing! If I ever make it back here again you can be sure I'll have a lot better idea of how to work things out.

Ok, this is really just a taster. We are heading back to our dorm now for a bit of downtime before heading out for a couple more movies tonight. Thanks for keeping up! More soon.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wow. Hard to believe it's been almost 3 years now since I last published to this blog! At that time I was unemployed and had tons of time to watch random movies and write reviews of them simply for my own amusement and to keep me on my toes. Now that's not the case. My drive and good fortune has led me to where I am now, working full time as a media-maker and loving (almost) every minute of it. If you check the archives you can still look at my old movie reviews, but that's not what I'm using this blog for right now.

I am going to SUNDANCE!! That's right, I, Lila Kitaeff, am being sent along with 6 others from Reel Grrls to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Reel Grrls has been my day job here in Seattle for just over two years, with an additional year before that as a volunteer with them under my belt. It is a non-profit after-school media literacy and filmmaking program for teenage girls. Working for Reel Grrls I have been able to pass on my love of editing and camerawork and develop my own skills through teaching. I have also had the opportunity to take classes to further my tech filmmaking education and to attend film festivals and networking events all over the country.

It's been a wild ride and the best is yet to come: My trip to Sundance is being financed by donations Reel Grrls has received from Adobe Youth Voices and the Sundance Institute, as well as many of my generous friends and family. I'll be flying to Sundance along with one other staff member as chaperones for five of our youth graduates. We're staying in a hostel there and will cram our three days with as many film screenings, panels, events, filmmaker meet-and-greets and who knows what else as possible.

I hope to write about it all in this blog if I can muster the energy for it. And I hope you'll join me on that journey. I am deeply grateful to everyone who has supported me in my passion for filmmaking, either through monetary donations, emotional support, or just caring enough to keep up with my life.

Til Sundance!

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