Sundance 2012 Daily Blog: Day 1

Total Film is back in Park City, Utah for the world’s premier independent movie showcase, the Sundance Film Festival.

After an epic, cross-Atlantic journey that involved grouchy customs officers, “minor” turbulence and embarrassing guffaws at Melissa McCarthy shitting in a sink (in Bridesmaids , obviously), we’ve finally arrived slap bang in the middle of a winter wonderland reminiscent of a Tim Burton movie.

For the next 10 days, this snowy corner of the US is home to a packed schedule of the finest American indies, documentaries and world cinema all vying for distribution over the coming year.

Total Film braved jetlag delirium to bundle into the Day One press conference. There, Sundance founder and Hollywood legend Robert Redford introduced the coming attractions while showing he’s lost none of his defiant indie spirit.

“We have to remind people why we are here,” he said, warning against the corrupting forces of Hollywood money men. “This is about the filmmakers and their work.”

A quick slice of pizza later and it was time to catch the first film of the fest - psychological Aussie thriller Wish You Were Here , which pairs Joel Edgerton ( Animal Kingdom ) with Teresa Palmer ( I Am Number Four ) for a brutal traveller’s warning.

Slow-burning and flashback heavy, debut feature director Kieran Darcy-Smith effectively cranks out the tension, while Edgerton takes a break from his recent alpha male roles and impresses with a surprisingly fragile turn.

Right, we’re off to brave a snowdrift back to the TF headquarters. Wish us luck!