Sundance 2011: Indie Mecca or Hollywood Extravaganza?

Nicole LaPorte checks in from Park City, Utah on the eve of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival's official kick-off.

Already, there’s the annual debate: will this year’s festival be another Hollywood-infused red carpet extravaganza, flush with A-list names more typically seen this time of year on the slopes of Aspen? Or will it harken back to its true, indie roots-to a time when only the cool kids knew who Parker Posey and Chloe Sevigny were?

The reality? Probably both. But there are good signs of the latter scenario prevailing. Indie darling Kevin Smith, one of the original Sundance progeny, is back this year, with his film Red State. As is a (relatively) more recent festival discovery: Miranda July, who’s bringing The Future, her follow-up to Me and You and Everyone You Know. And the documentary category is feeling particularly strong, with Page One, Andrew Rossi’s inside look at The New York Times, and the ubiquitous Alex Gibney’s film about the Merry Pranksters (Magic Trip), to name just a few.

To read the rest of Nicole's post on Sundance Channel, click here.