The Sundance Diaries: Sundance Vs. Sourdough

This is one in a series of posts for HuffPost Culture's "The Sundance Diaries," a month-long multimedia diary kept by the international filmmakers whose 64 short films were selected for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.



I wake up really early cause I want to make some bread. No, the real truth is I don't want to make bread, but today I am nervous, it is the official announcement of Sundance tonight and I do make bread when I am nervous. Sarolta is still in bed, probably having nightmares about the evening too. I have couple of hours to myself.

(Where is my bloody dough scraper?)

Kneading bread is just a way to lose energy; a special type of self-therapy, a ritual. But I cannot concentrate. At 10pm the official announcement will be published online. What if the film won't be on the list? If all correspondence with the festival so far was a spam (stop), yes, we have been victim of a Sundance virus (Stop!), our film is not selected, Sundance doesn't exist (STOP!), we don't exist (STOOOOOPPP).

(Lets start! Make the dough! 100g flour + 100ml water + sourdough starter + wait...)

Actually the film's composer Chris White, who lives in London is also an enthusiastic bread maker, so we usually speak first about flour types, yeast and kneading method before talking about film scores. We've worked so hard and long on the film, from the very early stage of animatic. Chris kept sending score ideas almost every day. It was a very organic process as music and image developed hand in hand. And now the film is at the Sun...

(Don't think of Sundance! Concentrate on the dough... don't you see it's too wet!)

'The Conquerors' sound designer Stefan Smith lives in San Francisco, which happen to be the home of the best bread in the world. But Stefan does not care about bread so we usually speak about everything else like Beckett in theatre, poetry, how Chelsea beat Arsenal - kind of stuff. Everything but San Francisco-style sourdough bread.

(San Francisco, sourdough, Sundance! Oh, merde!)

That is how we did the film, over two continents and an island. Stefan sent the sound design from Frisco to Chris, who composed the music in London, while Sarolta and I were doing the animation in France with the Folimage team, getting regular feedback from the Canadian co-producers. And somewhere between these places - probably in the Atlantic Ocean - all material met and formed the film.

(I am doing San Francisco style bread in Paris with Hungarian breed levain!)

If a film needs a national identification then we have a problem here. Can we put all our different identities, national background, taste and culture into a 12 minutes film and mix it? Can we? Sundance think we can... Will see tonight...

(Don't think about that!)

But luckily 'The Conquerors' worked like bread. All different element mixed together formed a solid yet unique and living style for the film. It has risen like dough. And finally - baked on 35mm - it created its very own identity. Chris said this film is a beast, but it is a beast you have never seen before. Born deep in the Atlantic Ocean where all Internet cables have met, now it is swimming toward the East Coast, making its way to Utah, Park City like a modern-time Godzilla!

- Tibor! Are you in the kitchen?!

(Sarolta is awake!)


- It is the official announcement today! What are you doing?

- Uhm...

- Oh, don't tell me you're doing bread again?! Why on earth Sundance has to turn this flat into a bakery?

WATCH a trailer for "Les Conquerants" ("The Conquerors") below:

Les conquérants | The Conquerors (extract) from Domestic Infelicity on Vimeo.

Read Domestic Infelicity's previous entry, "25th November 2011. Paris, France."