Back from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

I am back from the wintry wilds of Park City, Utah, where I partook in the annual celebration of independent cinema known as the Sundance Film Festival. I saw films, friends and much colder weather than my west coast constitution is used to, but it was a fun whirlwind weekend. Here are a few cool things I experienced...

On Saturday morning, I hopped into the rush line for a ticket to watch the world premiere screening of Anita, the latest documentary from acclaimed director Freida Lee Mock. I got number 31, which ended up getting me into the screening with no problem.

The documentary explores the story of Anita Hill, whose 1991 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the conduct of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas became a lightning rod moment for the discussion of gender inequality in America. It's a stunning portrait of dignity, power and truth.

The post-screening Q & A featured none other than Anita Hill herself, who received a standing ovation. Honestly, I was just a little too young during those Senate hearings to really understand what was going on at the time, but this film and Hill's bold stand to speak truth feel more important now than ever.

Oh hey, look who I ran into on Main Street! It's our friend Daniel Dae Kim, star of Lost and Hawaii Five-0, who lends his voice as narrator in Linsanity. It was great to hang out with him for a bit.

On Saturday afternoon, I attended a director's panel on storytelling, featuring acclaimed filmmakers Jane Campion, Richard Linklater, Justin Lin and Mike White. Justin, who now helms the lucrative and big-budget Fast & Furious franchise and a bunch of other projects, has come a long way from the humble indie film beginnings of Better Luck Tomorrow, which premiered eleven years ago at Sundance.

And on Sunday afternoon... Linsanity. Evan Jackson Leong's feature documentary on the NBA sensation is the real reason why I went out of my way to attend Sundance this year. Props to my good friend Grace, aka Peachies, who served as assistant editor on the film and scored me a ticket to the premiere.

Linsanity is a fantastic, inspiring documentary on many levels -- as an underdog sports story, a pop culture time capsule, and an insightful portrait of a young man whose character, perseverance and faith took him on a heck of a journey -- and us along with him. For those who are familiar with Jeremy Lin's incredible story, and followed the extraordinary heights of "Linsanity" at every turn, you'll still be thrilled -- yes, it did really all happen -- and get some candid, truthful moments with Jeremy along the way.

Full disclosure: I briefly appear in Linsanity. Evan interviewed me for the film last spring, and I was happy to be a part of the project. Sitting there in theater with a packed house, hearing the audience cheer for Jeremy's amazing, unlikely ascension, I felt a swell a pride, like we were back in February 2012 all over again. Linsanity is a true crowd-pleaser, and I can't wait for you all to watch it.

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