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The staff of The Salt Lake Tribune covers the Sundance Film Festival, on the streets of Utah and beyond.

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Mike Birbiglia appears at Salt Lake screening of "Sleepwalk With Me"

Bt the time the second Thursday of the Sundance Film Festival comes around, it seems that most of the film makers and stars of films have left Utah and gone back to Hollywood or New York City.

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That's why it was a pleasant surprise to see co-writer, director and star Mike Birbiglia jump up to the stage after the Tower Theater screening of his "Next" film, "Sleepwalk With Me."

• Birbiglia was asked how long the shoot was. He told the crowd that it was 25 days, which elicited some gasps from the crowd. As a first-time film maker, he asked the crowd, "Is that a little or a lot?"

• He jokingly cut off an audience member who began her question with, "Now that you're a film star ..." He told her he was no such thing, "[The film] isn't on 1,000 screens," he said. "It's just this one ... I'm not a film star, I'm a film-starred-er."

• An unidentified audience member handed Birbiglia a hand-stitched pillow with the title of the film on it as he entered the Tower, he told the crowd. AS he held the pillow, he asked if the person made it in to the packed-to-the-gills screening. No one raised their hand. "We don't let those people in," he joked.

• Birbigila had been in Utah for a week, and he said Thursday was the first time he was able to get away from Park City. "I'm going to talk about those f____ers," he joked. He managed to take most of Thursday off to go ski with his family at Deer Valley.

• To show he had Utah tattooed on his heart during his stay, he let loose the expletive that Utahns have embraced: "Gosh darn heck."

— David Burger

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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