When we write about film festivals in far-flung locales, we scour the schedules for movies by filmmakers from the Northwest. But every once in a while we miss one.
Most recently, we overlooked Drew Christie’s “Allergy to Originality” in a list of NW-connected films at Sundance. The omission was unintentional; we’ve followed Christie’s work since he won The Seattle Times/SIFF’s Three Minute Masterpiece contest in 2007. We’ve now updated the list of locals at Sundance, but in the process, writer Christy Karras also learned a little more about Christie and his past experiences at the festival.
Christie, a Seattle native whose animated short, “Song of the Spindle,” screened at Sundance 2012, says the biggest surprise for him was how much there was to do. Between screenings, Q&A sessions, lunches, brunches, meet-and-greets and seminars, he says, “It’s a very busy affair.”
Christie knows all too well how fortuitous Sundance networking can be: “Song of the Spindle” (in which a talking whale chats with a human about the nature of happiness) led directly to this year’s entry, “Allergy to Originality.” At the festival two years ago, Christie met Jason Spingarn-Koff, who was seeking contributors for a series of short video editorials for the New York Times.
Now, Christie is a regular contributor to the Times, and he originally created this year’s Sundance short for the Op-Docs series.
“When you’re talking to people there, they’re interested in what you’re doing next. People are looking forward,” Christie said.
“Allergy to Originality” will be the first short to screen Jan. 16 in the opening night program — which means it will be the first short of the entire festival.