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Black Out on Main Street
by Karen Pecota

The film festival suspense conjures up a variety of emotions. As a journalist, I anticipate the unforeseen encounter or an unusual discovery which is a fun surprise. I wonder who I will meet, what films will leave a lasting impression, what lasting impact will the festival leave on my own personal life, or heighten inspiration for my journalism. The anticipation is exhilarating! The unexpected that pops out of nowhere is that thrill of the moment which puts a little skip into my stride and a smile on my face. The surprise discovery is undeserving but without fail it is apart of my festival experience!

I had a full day of viewing films and my mind needed the breath of the crisp mountain fresh air and my body was in need of a brisk stroll. I met my husband and we headed up to Main Street to check out the late evening activities. We popped into a number of eating establishments which were either full or closed even though the night was still young. According to European standards, this was very strange! And, stranger yet, the upper half of Main Street suddenly had no lights! Yes! A full on-- Black Out! Oh! How exciting! The street crowds were not sure how to respond but we ditched the chaos into one of the side streets and found the local Mexican restaurant had open doors with electricity and empty tables. Perfect!

The eerie atmosphere was interesting enough to start up conversations with whoever was around and we entered the restaurant with a striking twenty something year old man. Actually, a young filmmaker! He did not have a film at the festival but enjoys the Indy films, the Sundance social scene and snowboarding. We invited him to join us for a drink to which he oddly enough accepted. We discovered through our conversation that he is a hard core student of acting and that he had just finished a screen play for a feature film. His brief of explanation about his project conjured up, in my mind, an interesting and intelligent storyline with bite. My husband and I spent the rest of the night enthralled in a very private Q and A expounding on this young filmmaker’s journey pitching his feature film screenplay to some of the most influential people in the industry. Fascinating!

There is no doubt in my mind that I will see this student’s work on the silver screen. I hope sooner than later because he is exactly the kind of person the industry would want to embrace. He seems to have wisdom beyond his years as if youth, intelligence (this is important among his generation), and sincerity were not enough. Truly, an incredible person! This guy is someone I deem worthy to keep tabs on and I believe his career will be interesting to follow. Leave it to Sundance to make it possible from unforeseen chaos on the street to encounter amazing people who delight to focus on film!