A Very British Roast at the Sundance Film Festival
By Jetset Extra
The annual Sundance Film Festival was this year held January 17 through 27 in Park City, Utah. The festival was filled with film screenings, panels, and industry events. One such event called “A Very British Roast” aimed to deliver a special celebration of British film at Sundance.
Hosted by Los Angeles transplant, filmmaker, and entrepreneur (and Jetset Extra Insider) Darren Darnborough and former Sundance winner Josh Tickell, the annual event honored the nominated British films and welcomed the filmmakers who traveled from the United Kingdom to the United States for the festival. It also served to connect the filmmakers with agents, financiers, distributors, publicists, and services to support their nominations.
“The British roast welcomes [the filmmakers] and nurtures the introductions to help the nominees make great connections in a fun, unpretentious, and genuine environment,” Darnborough says.
Guests arrived at the new Rock & Reilly’s Park City (the original of which occupies a historical spot on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip) in style compliments of Uber taxis, had their picture taken at the Step & Repeat press wall, and were greeted with an open bar that included craft beer from Epic Brewing and shots of whisky. Attendees included Sundance nominees from films including “Lovelace,” “30%,” “The Summit,” “Reindeer,” “The Curse,” and “Jonah,” as well as former Sundance winners, Oscar nominees, and Cannes winners. Producer Daniel Marc Dreifuss (“No”), and British celebrities Judi Shekoni (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2”), Carly Steel (TV Guide Network), and Hermione Way (“Start-Ups: Silicon Valley”) also made an appearance for the event, along with Mekhi Phifer, Ali Costello, and various industry executives responsible for major movies.
Hollywood chef Shad Davis prepared the three-course, traditional British roast dinner, which included all the trimmings and was served carvery-style with open seating, giving guests an opportunity to mingle. American Idol contestant Crystal Bowersox provided musical entertainment along with singer-songwriters Brian Ashley Jones and Cameron Rafati. Each of the performers included a British cover song in their set in honor of the roast, arranged by promoter and producer Koffeehouse Music.
After Darnborough and Tickell took the stage to welcome the guests, applaud the festival nominees, and thank sponsors Beltran Brito Immigration Attorneys and Penny Black Investments, Tickell introduced non-profit partner Fuel Freedom Foundation, which is working to end America’s addiction to oil and champion new replacement fuels. Rally.org had a photo booth on hand for guests to snap and share pictures on social networks, encouraging them to promote Fuel Freedom Foundation and supporter Steps 4 Paws.
The fun (and drinking) continued until closing time, leaving ample opportunity for group photographs with the guests. Upon departure, all attendees received a gift bag sponsored by LA Car Guy and Toyota Santa Monica and filled with products and offers from the GRAMMY Museum, Steps 4 Paws, Contour Fossa, Britweek, Malin+Goetz, Danny Trejo’s The Darkness Descending, and Brand’s of Britain, as well as a DVD copy of the Cannes-nominated film “The Big Fix.”