Social Impact Soared at Sundance
The theme of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, both programmed and in the buzz of every conversation, was social impact. It was woven into the fabric of the weekend, from film premieres like Blindspotting, named by the New York Times as one of the top films at Sundance this year, to the ACLU showcase of three animated short films telling first-hand stories of incarceration, unmasking America’s broken criminal justice system. Panel discussions looked at the role creative choices play in shifting culture; the belief that stories and storytellers will help us move towards a more equitable world; and how unconscious bias impacts behavior socially and in the workplace.
Nowhere was this theme more present than the Women’s Respect Rally, where crowds gathered in 22 degree weather to hear Jane Fonda, Gloria Allred, Common, actors Nick Offerman and Maria Bello, writer Lena Waithe, Bonnie Cohen co-director of “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Lakota activist Sage Trudell, and Salt Lake City Mayor, Jackie Biskupski speak passionately about the civil rights issues we face today and the fierce urgency of taking action now.
Sarah Kay, an American poet and fellow cast member of Blindspotting, delivered a beautiful and powerful spoken word poem in the wake of the Time's Up and #MeToo movements. It took her a long time to find the words and courage to share this poem about friend who was in an abusive relationship, but she gathered the strength and shared it at the Women’s Respect Rally in Park City, Utah, on the anniversary of the National Women’s March. Take a listen.
Despite the cold, we all left fired up to bring a mission of change with us into this new year!
Words by Katie Kilbride