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For a day, Sundance Film Festival will celebrate failure

Published January 9, 2014 2:49 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival is setting itself up for failure — for one day, anyway.

Festival director John Cooper announced today that the Park City event will celebrate the idea of failure with "Free Fail," a series of events on Monday, Jan. 20.

Failure, Cooper wrote in a blog post on the Sundance Institute's website, is "an always feared, often denied, but most vital aspect of the creative process."

The day will include panel discussions and workshops about the value of failure, with such titles as "The Beauty of Failure" and "How Many Wrongs Make a Right?"

One panel, "Exploratory Detours," will explore the idea that many great achievements come about through correcting failed attempts. Moderating the panel is author and scholar Sarah Lewis, whose upcoming book is "The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery." On the panel are: Charles Limb, an M.D. and associate professor of otolaryngology, head & neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University, who studies the neural processes behind creativity; and screenwriter Eric Roth, an Oscar winner for "Forrest Gump."

Cooper has also selected a movie that reflects his own personal failure: A title he and his Sundance programmers once rejected, but went on to greater glory anyway. The movie Cooper chose is "Bottle Rocket," the 1996 directing debut of Wes Anderson ("Rushmore," "The Fantastic Mr. Fox") that launched the careers of brothers Owen and Luke Wilson. "Bottle Rocket" will screen Monday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Yarrow Hotel Theatre in Park City.

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs Jan. 16-26 in Park City, and at venues in Salt Lake City, Ogden and the Sundance resort in Provo Canyon.