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Nicole Kerr: Memories from Sundance Film Festival

It's one thing to like movies. It's another thing to live movies.

Columbus resident Nicole Kerr opted for the second option when she recently volunteered at the Sundance Film Festival. She chatted with us about volunteering, movies and celebrity encounters.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You recently returned from volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival, which was held Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah. How did you get that gig?

Sundance was something I had been wanting to do for a while, and after three tries I finally got the chance. It is an application process, and I think that this time the timing was right and I was ready.

I am so lucky to work at a place that was so supportive of this opportunity, so I have to thank Jimbo Martin and Helen Neal at PMB Broadcasting for all their encouragement and support.

What were your responsibilities at Sundance?

I worked in the press department as a press line associate. I worked closely with publicists, media outlets, the film office and entourages acting as a liaison on red carpet premieres between the media and the talent.

I worked premieres for films such as "Fruitvale," "The Spectacular Now" and "jOBS," to name a few.

Did you meet any celebrities?

I met lots of celebrities because of the position I held, but the two that meant the most to me were Edward Burns and James Ponsoldt. I have been a longtime fan of Edward Burns' writing, so meeting him was a huge deal to me.

James Ponsoldt is a Georgia native who directed "The Spectacular Now," which was filmed in Athens. It was nice talking with someone from back home.

If you got to watch any films at the festival, which ones impressed you?

Some people work the festival and watch so many films. Everyone there has a strong passion for film and an even bigger love of indie film.

My job kept me so busy that I did not get to see as many films as I would have liked but the two I did see that stand out the most were "Afternoon Delight," which was in the U.S. Dramatic competition and "Blood Brother," which was in the U.S. Documentary competition.

Can you recommend a good movie that flew under the mainstream radar last year?

I have three movies that went under the mainstream radar. They are "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Anna Karenina." I don't think I could narrow it to just one.

I loved all three of these films so much. "Beasts" made its premiere last year at Sundance and was nominated for four Academy Awards. "Moonrise Kingdom" came from Wes Anderson, who also wrote and directed "The Royal Tenenbaums." A

"Anna Karenina" is a classic yet tragic love story from the 1800s written Leo Tolstoy. These are very different films, all of which I highly recommend.