Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Uncle Luke goes to Sundance

Dec. 9, 2011, 12:30 p.m., Posted by Jillian Mayer

By Jillian Mayer, director The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke

In fall 2011, we submitted our short film, The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke to the Sundance Film Festival. Commissioned by the Borscht Film Festival, which received a 2010 Knight Arts Challenge grant, we were able to start pre-production in January. Over thirty people worked on this twelve-minute short film which was inspired by the booty-bass music of Luther Campbell (aka Uncle Luke) and based on the French short film, La Jetee.

I had an amazing team comprised of friends and peers that put all their effort into this project. We worked and built sets in a hot dusty warehouse with haunted stray cats and filmed in the middle of the night in March. This December, we learned we were chosen to participate in Sundance’s 2012 Short Film Program. Being chosen by Sundance is amazing. 64 shorts were chosen out of 7,675 and we may be the film with the lowest budget.

A few members of the Borscht team and I will be traveling to the Festival and spreading one piece of the independent Miami film scene to anyone that will watch it. What made the commissions of Borscht 2011 so special was the collaboration of local musicians and filmmakers. We are really excited to bring booty-bass music to Utah and be the second short film from Borscht (and I believe Miami) to go to Sundance.

Without the support of the Knight Foundation all of these wonderful things would just be ideas in our heads, so we are eternally grateful to be supported by such a cool organization that is willing to take risks on weird projects like Borscht and my film, and then providing the support to make sure we are able to spread our work across the globe.