Greetings from Park City, Utah, where it’s cold, but not as cold as it used to be, and where Mormons and film nuts coexist peacefully each year in the name of independent filmmaking. I’m here this week covering the premiere of Everything’s Cool, the new film on global warming. I’m double-timing, reporting for Grist and helping with audio for Toxic Comedy Pictures (the film company behind Everything’s Cool), so I’ll be dispatching updates from the festival as frequently as I can plug into wi-fi.
Everything’s Cool, directed and produced by Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand (of note for their previous film, Blue Vinyl), is an insightful, funny, and inspiring look at some of the folks on the ground in the battle against climate change. From a biodiesel-enthusiast ski resort snow-maker to Rick Piltz, a government employee who blew the whistle on stifled science, the film puts several faces on the mother of all problems humans are confronting today. And Grist even makes an unexpected appearance in the film!
Last night, an exclusive prescreening for funders of the Sundance Preserve, people who know Robert Redford, and hapless interns like me opened the opening of the festival, since it technically starts today. The filmmakers had put the finishing touches on it just the night before, concluding in time to rush out to Utah. Though the festival doesn’t usually host this sort of pre-screening screening, Sundance Institute directors and Redford himself had seen clips of the film earlier and wanted to give it some special hype.
“It’s a subject that people both want to know more about and at the same time resist, and what they’ve done is make a movie that is tremendously accessible,” Sundance Institute Executive Director Ken Brecher told Grist. “I think that Dan and Judith have really captured a sense of humor, a sense of irony. I’m excited to see how it’s going to play in the festival.”
Though “global warming comedic drama” might not become the next niche film market (though if it were up there with “boxing film,” “football film,” and “failed-cop-makes-good film,” I wouldn’t be disappointed), it seems like this might be the year for something like this to make it big. Last year’s festival launched the surprising success of An Inconvenient Truth, a film whose sellability seemed unlikely at best.
But the film’s standing ovation last night, and the roomful of folks mingling excitedly and talking climate change over swill, seem like a great start. The film doesn’t even officially debut until tomorrow.
Subsequent posts on cornering Robert “Bob” Redford, global warming pick-up lines, and the film itself to come.
These guys hate global warming, but love Bob’s grapes.