Searching For Warmth – Sundance & Rodriguez – DAY 2

The second screening of Searching For Sugar Man was an early one, happening at 9 AM at the Yarrow Theatre in Park City. I didn’t think last night’s premiere could be toped, but never underestimate the power of Sixto. While the film played, I chatted with Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew in the lobby of the theatre. Considering these two South Africans are the reason I’m standing here, I once again geeked out, asking questions about the intense process of finding Rodriguez well over a decade years ago. The three of us picked through certain lyrics on Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, leading to other unanswered clues. Time flew by so we sat down to watch the final half hour and still felt the goosebumps. Once again, the credits came up and a standing ovation ensued. The M.C. brought out Rodriguez, cast, and crew, and the audience went nuts further, which only escalated when someone yelled out “play a song!” Rodriguez grabbed his guitar, tuned up, and performed, covering a song by Paolo Nutini. Bless the joys of YouTube and witness it here -

Soon after, the press release lands that Sony Pictures Classics has purchased the film for North America, making this the first purchase of the entire 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Minds are further blown.

In the car, heading to Salt Lake City

A few hours later, we head out to Salt Lake City for screening #3, happening at a gorgeous downtown city library. Craig drives his rental with the rest of us grateful for the lift: Sugar, the film’s Director of Photography Camilla Skagerstrom, and Craig’s wife Philippa Berrington, who a decade prior sung vocals on a cover of Rodriguez’s “I Wonder” with a group called Generation EXT and rapper Tazz. I dug up the tune here.

The Salt Lake screening is another packed house and another standing ovation. Considering the audiences for the screenings in Park City were primarily film industry folks, it was refreshing to see a response from the locals. They absolutely loved the film and we met some incredibly kind Salt Lake City residents.

Rodriguez playing a song after the morning's screening

The cast, crew, and family headed to Rodriguez’s condo for a post-celebration party. Champagne, pizza, and other delights ensued. Rodriguez played a few songs. A couple hours later, it was sad saying goodbye to Camilla, Craig, and Philippa who all had to fly out the next morning. I felt lucky to have met them. Such great people. Camilla’s an absolute sweetheart and her work on the film can’t be understated.

Director Malik Bendjelloul toasts

I stopped by the film party for Your Sister’s Sister, directed by Seattle director Lynn Shelton and line produced by Jennifer Maas (Wheedle’s Groove). It was brilliant seeing Seattle friends and the almighty Ted Speaker who recorded a number of songs for the Wheedle’s Groove film doc years prior. Outside drunk girls walked in heels on slippery, black ice. It made me miss the sun and BBQ of South By Southwest in Austin.

Time to sleep.