Sundance 2013: Watch Sundance Film Festival Shorts On YouTube

Looks like you don’t need to forge press passes or pay exorbitant prices for underground tickets purchased off the black market to enjoy the Sundance Film Festival because, for the first time, there are several facets of the annual film event that you can enjoy right from the comfort of your own home.

First, there is the Screening Room YouTube Channel. Of the 65 short films on display at the event, the Sundance Short Film program will showcase 12 on the video-sharing website. Plus, starting next month, the channel will be updated weekly to provide two films from the Sundance archives and other film festivals around the world. Also, fans of the festival will be given sneak peeks at original content prior to each screening of the shorts selection.

Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute, says, "Short films have always been a very important part of our programming mix. It's a very exciting opportunity to partner with YouTube to share these films with a much wider audience."

For those that want more backstage coverage or something related to the process of filmmaking rather than a film itself, the official website also offers live streams and filmmaker interviews.

The event is certainly built on a flimsy premise, seeing that how it is believed to be something beyond the glitz and glam of Hollywood, some beacon of opportunity for struggling artists with a vision, yet it’s dominated by people who usually rank highly in the industry.

Also, it can’t be denied that any institution that chooses what is and isn’t artistic enough to display is intrinsically elitist (think museums and libraries).

Interestingly, of the twelve short films making their debut, one worth highlighting is Broken Night, a chilling film by Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams, Babel) and Janusz Kaminski (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan).

Now, this film is not worth emphasizing because of the content, because that remains to be seen, but rather because it shows just how Hollywood the whole event really is.

The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17 to January 27, and is being held in Park City, Utah.

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Abdul R. Siddiqui

Abdul is a graduate of CUNY Baruch, as part of the Macaulay Honors program. He has interned with the New York City Housing Authority, Macaulay, and PolicyMic. He currently contributes to PolicyMic, DramaFever, and NewLogical.

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