Words from Sundance Staffers: Duc Bieu Pham

Hilary Hart January 28, 2010

What is your job at SFF?
I manage the outside of the venue at the Racquet Club Theatre, the festival’s second largest screening venue. Whether you’re filmmaker, programmer, talent, passholder/ticketholder, press member, staff member, or any of the other hundred types of people that come through, I make sure that everything runs smoothly before you get to the front door.

What do you do the rest of the year?
I’m a fine art photographer, creative consultant, FAA-certified safety professional, educator, travel addict/writer/photographer, film festival junkie, and proud Cal alumnus.

Why did you decide to start working at SFF? I was blown away by the festival experience when I first attended, and I wanted to be a part of the magic that makes it happen.

If you have worked at SFF in previous years why do you return?
There is nothing quite like Sundance. I love the Institute, I love the festival, and I love being a part of the action. It’s a delightful privilege to see the next big films before the rest of the world sees them, talk about the next big issues, and meet the next big filmmakers. Park City is full of stunningly beautiful landscapes and snow, and I never cease to be inspired by my experiences here.

What is your most cherished memory from previous festivals?
Beholding John Legend’s live performance from five feet away. He is ridiculously talented, and I was completely blown away.

What film are you most looking forward to seeing at SFF?
The Audience Award Winners.

If you’ve had a chance to preview any of the festival films, which ones are you recommending to friends?

How many films do you hope to see?
I think I’ll be quite content if I see 10 films total during the festival.

How does SFF differ from other film festivals that you have attended or worked at?
No other film festival that I’ve been to takes over a town in the way that Sundance does. There is an undeniable energy and fervor in a town that is consumed by film and film lovers.

If you have to choose between going to a film or a party how do you decide what to do?
I’ve been to my fair share of Sundance parties…and they start to feel the same after a while. I can always count on Sundance films to bring something new to my attention. I’ll go to parties to spend time with people that matter to me. I’ll go to films to expand my brain. How I choose depends on how I feel at that particular moment in time.

How do you deal with the cold and altitude in Park City?
I fly so much in airplane pressurized cabins that I practically live at altitude. It doesn’t seem to affect me too much. As for the cold, I make sure to bring proper layers of clothing and gear (snow boots, gloves, ear muffs, lip balm, etc.) and make sure that I always keep moving so that the warm blood flows.

Will you be back for next year?
But of course. :)

Hilary Hart, who annually holds down the late-night shift at the Egyptian at the Sundance Film Festival, will be offering interviews with fellow workers from the San Francisco Bay Area during the course of the festival.