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We Went to Sundance Film Festival and It Was Seriously Epic



We Went to Sundance Film Festival and It Was Seriously Epic

We just got back from Sundance Film Festival and it was A M A Z I N G.
We had the chance to attend some fantastic panels, interview stars on the red carpet, and of course, we got to watch the movies that premiered at the festival, and let us tell you…they were stellar. Both books featured, Monster by Walter Dean Myers and The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth shed life on tough topics that need need NEED to be explored in film more.

Deadline Panel with the Monster Cast 

The day before the premiere, the cast and crew hosted a panel about the process for making Monster. It was my first time hearing them talk about it and it was clear that they were all extremely passionate about the project!

Photo Credit: Rodney Hazard, for ToniK Productions

I read the book when I was in high school. Walter Dean Myers is a great author, the story, the narrative, is so true. Me being from Harlem, it was important to have Harlem people in it.” —Rapper and actor A$AP Rocky, who plays the role of James King

Photo Credit: Rodney Hazard, for ToniK Productions

“We made this film in twenty days with no rehearsals, no re-shoots. We had to get to the heart of things and not worry about anything that galvanized the message of the film. That was our approach.” —Anthony Mandler, director
“The first time I read the script I couldn’t put it down. For me, it was a new experience. I knew that was going to make for a powerful, entertaining experience. It really makes you think about how the justice system is so inhumane.” —singer John Legend, an executive producer of the film

“I’m so grateful. You really don’t expect things like this to happen – this is the most beautiful script I’ve ever read.” —Kelvin Harrison Jr. on playing Steve Harmon

The Miseducation of Cameron Post interview

I had the chance to interview Chloe Grace Moretz (#perksofthejob) on the red carpet and it was awesome to hear from her directly what she thought of The Miseducation of Cameron Post and her role as Cameron, a young girl who learns that she’s gay—only to be sent to a Christian conversion camp by her own aunt.
The movie takes place over the course of her time in this conversion therapy camp. It focuses on interpersonal relationships of her actually meeting people like her for the first time and realizing she isn’t alone in this and there are people out there going through the same struggle she is.
Her perseverance was something I really admired and the fact that no matter what she went through, she always kept a positive outlook. I know under the circumstances and the pressures she was going through, it seems almost impossible to keep a positive outlook and she, no matter what, followed her intuition, her heart, and her gut.

Also, I spoke with her co-star, Forrest Goodluck, who plays the role of Adam Red Eagle:
I think it’s easy to slip into a label of oh, this kid is Native American or this kid is two-spirit or he’s gay or whatever word you want to attach to it. But I think the hardest part and the most enjoyable part was that’s not him, he’s not his labels. He’s this unique human being.” 😍😍😍
And of course, we had to find out what author emily m. danforth thought of the movie!

I never thought it was going to happen…it felt like too big of a dream. I don’t mean to nerd out, but it did…it felt incredible to see, it’s beautiful. I’m going to start crying…but I’m telling you its been a dream, the whole thing.

Monster Movie Premiere

YOU GUYS. This movie was incredible. Real tears. Kelvin Harrison Jr. is a star to watch and is amazing as Steve Harmon, who stands trial for acting as a lookout during a Harlem bodega robbery where one person is murdered. You could feel the tension from everyone in the audience while we sat and watched the jury make the verdict on screen (AND I READ THE BOOK!). I brought tissues to the screening to be safe, and was glad I did.

“Why Monster? Because it is a cautionary tale for all teens about the fact that one decision could change your life forever.” Tonya Lewis Lee, a producer of the film (and Spike Lee’s wife!!)

All in all…

We have all our fingers and toes crossed that these two incredible movies that premiered at Sundance will get picked up for distribution! It was such an experience to be able to attend this festival and meet the fellow book nerds that read these books in private and loved them enough to bring them to the masses.
If you haven’t read these two books yet, we highly recommend that you do! They are important and powerful stories that are not to be missed and a reminder that we should always be aware of what’s happening around us, even if they don’t directly affect us. That’s the power of books, right?

Have you read Monster or The Miseducation of Cameron Post? Are you excited to see the movies? Do you think we should do more event recap posts? Tell us in the comments below!

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