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Asian Filmmakers
by Karen Pecota

The unexpected in life often has its comedic side. Something I love to experience because I enjoy a good laugh. The Sundance Film Festival atmosphere often creates at least one laughable situation that is a part of my festival experience.

This year, I was in the SundanceTV HQ (Headquarters) seated on a bench placed against one of the walls in the building waiting for a panel discussion to begin with a variety of female celebrities. I was early and minding my own business. People watching to be exact.  Out of nowhere four young Asian women suddenly stood in front of me.

The group of four hovered around me and pointed to the credential lanyard around my neck. They introduced themselves as filmmakers/journalists from Korea and wanted to talk. Each female had their specific job and a business card they gladly handed me. Asking all types of took notes, one took photos, one asked the questions and one taped the conversation.

The atmosphere in the room was crowded and super noisy. I was getting hot and sweaty from nerves because I wanted to make sure I was polite and took great strides to listen to the women carefully. I had more of an issue understanding them with my hard of hearing and their broken English but they didn't mind. They were on a mission. As filmmakers they were at Sundance to learn how the festival works. They were especially interested in my press credential. A big-shot I was not but I did feel pretty proud.

The one who acknowledged that she was a filmmaker was curious as to how I did my job as a film journalist. I explained that my job, as a representative of my outlet, was to cover certain aspects of the festival and give a written account of my findings. I explained that in our support for the independent film industry and the aspects I would cover, my job is to make independent filmmakers and their work that showcase at the festival appear attractive. It's my job to create anticipation that surrounds their work, so that people will want to see the film when it comes to theaters. The four nodded their heads up and down profusely as if to say they understood. Did they? I have no idea.

When they got what they wanted, they continued on their merry way just as quickly as they appeared. I sat there for a minute wondering what just happened. I chuckled and was quickly taken out of my perplexed state as the celebrity panelists were being introduced.