PARK CITY, Utah -- A fresh dusting of snow over Park City heralded the opening of the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday.
For 11 days every January, Sundance becomes the focal point of the independent film world as established directors and stars mix with up-and-coming talent, while theatrical distributors prowl the festival looking for the next indie hit and film lovers just have a good time being the first audiences to see new movies.
"You can't make a film with a festival in mind, and it's not something I would have expected or taken for granted. But it's always kind of the dream in the back of your mind," said Lauren Greenfield, who premiered her debut documentary "Thin" at Sundance in 2006 and returns this time with one of the opening-night films, "The Queen of Versailles," chronicling the housing-bust story of a couple who tried to build a palatial 90,000-square-foot mansion.
"I think it's this really magical environment, a place that's such a nurturing, supportive influence for independent films. Even when you're out there making your film, I think that you think about Sundance, and it just kind of gives you motivation."
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