In Memory of Roger Ebert

from a chance encounter with Roger Ebert

Alone one chilly evening at my hotel at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, I wandered sleepily down to the lobby to see if I could sneak my way into the theater reserved for the Press. There was absolutely no one in line, so I wasn't exactly going to blend in unnoticed. Plan B: I chatted up the two young women at the door, who felt an exception was in order. As I turned to enter the theater, a friendly chap in a thick sweater approached me bearing his press pass. It was Roger Ebert. I asked him how he was and he said the flying and late festival nights were taking their toll, but what could you do, and what brings YOU to Sundance? I told him I had edited my first feature in the festival, and he took a keen, kind, and mentoring interest. He said he would come to our premiere, and he did. He took a photo of our team for his blog —it was such a gracious gesture and was downright thrilling. He was having a lovely time, and he was supporting some new kids on the block who were giving it their best shot in the world of movie-making. That's what I remember most deeply about Roger: a warm, passionate, and gregarious everyman with all his attention directed to the stories and storytellers.

by Eric Pomert
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