The founder of the Sundance Institute, Robert Redford, opened the Sundance Film Festival press conference in a fashion of fatherly pride and humility. His presence alone demanded my utmost attention, as he leisurely appeared on the stage of Park City’s art deco cinema, known as, The Egyptian Theater. And, Oh! My! His handsome but rugged exterior was breathtaking. I was looking at a film legend! Up close and alive! My star struck frenzy quickly calmed because I was smitten with his kind welcome and heartfelt expression of gratitude for the presence of the press. He shared some stories from the early days when they were trying to get the festival off the ground. At that time, it was the first big project administered from Redford’s Sundance Institute (an intensive program geared toward teaching film making) which he founded in 1981. He told us that 25 years ago they were on Main Street (directly out the theater’s front door), begging people to come into the theater to watch just one film. He recalled the difficulties they encountered and the risks that were taken to pursue an intricate vision to focus on film and support unknown filmmakers telling their stories. He had no idea if anything would come out of their efforts. However, he was convinced that independent films would be a wave of the future and a positive instrument useful in the industry. His personal heartbeat has always been the story told in documentary form. He feels that the documentary is a powerful medium where true stories about real people have the capacity to broaden our world view. He was thrilled to see a strong representation in the festival program. His word of thankfulness for what the festival has become was, in part, showered upon the press for their continued support and positive coverage. He acknowledged that the added commercialism isn’t his cup of tea but that it had its benefits in the changing industry and felt that it was appropriately kept in balance. He encouraged us to have a good time, while we were working, and commissioned us to hold on to the purpose of the festival: Focus on Film! He was warmly received by the press as was the festival director, Geoffrey Gilmore and Brett Morgen, director of the opening film, Chicago, who entered center stage for the remainder of the press conference, wearing the Focus on Film Buttons. The visual was taken well and we all got their message!