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Student interns at this year’s Sundance Festival

Nicole Michels | Thursday, January 26, 2012

Far from the cold of South Bend winter, senior Audrey Mitchell is spending her winter as an intern at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The Film, Television and Theater (FTT) and English major said the internship opportunity was offered to her by a contact she made working at the Cannes Film Festival last May.

“There are people that go from festival to festival,” Mitchell said. “If you make those contacts then you’ll have a better chance at getting to go to the next festival.”

Now, Mitchell is spending the beginning of her last semester at Notre Dame working at a screening venue reserved for Sundance press and industry viewings, where she has immersed herself in the festival while selling tickets and ushering shows.

“Just being in this environment, in this experience, is amazing. Everyone here loves film and wants to work in film,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said though the long hours can be tiring, she attends events after work to build her contact base in the hopes of securing a position in the industry after graduation.

“I have been in the press office all day,” Mitchell said, “and then I have to go to my ushering job until 10 tonight. Then after work there are a lot of cool films and events where you can go and network.”

Mitchell said that she was excited to attend a performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his production company hitRECord.org Thursday night.

Outside of work, networking and evening events, Mitchell spends most of her time with a group of 12 fellow “film nerds.”

“We text each other when we see anything important, if we hear about any free tickets, or if we see anyone important,” Mitchell said.

After graduation, Mitchell said she plans to enter the industry through film production or festival coordination.

“I’m looking at a couple internship options with LA-based production companies, but right now it’s all about making connections,” she said.

The experience has been intense at times but extremely rewarding and enjoyable, she said.

“When I’m working with film it doesn’t feel like work. It just feels like I’m here and I’m excited,” she said. “I haven’t slept in four days — but that’s awesome.”

Mitchell will return to campus next week to complete her final semester at Notre Dame and graduate with the senior class in May.