We’re excited to share that Shelby’s film, Relentless has made an impact with its story on appreciating life no matter your situation. We were able to ask Shelby some questions about her experience at Sundance:
Tell us about your invitation to Sundance
Marty O’Connor ’17 (the subject of Relentless) and I were introduced to an Emmy-nominated writer and producer SJ Murray through our mutual friend, Weston, who was inspired by Marty’s story. SJ and Weston invited and hosted us in Park City, UT at a week-long event called the Sundance Salon Series where we got to screen Relentless and attend the various events around Sundance.
What does that organization do?
The Sundance Salon Series is an experience designed to bring together, and forge any alliances, between key influencers and impactful filmmakers at Sundance 2020. Their main aim is to catalyze a collaborative network aimed to shift culture, effect change, and create and distribute game-changing storytelling. We met the most incredible people and creative powerhouses who are pioneers in their industries, to say the least, and we are extremely thankful for SJ who sponsored and invited us to be a part of it all.
What was your schedule like at Sundance?
After screening and meeting all of the people apart of Sundance Salon and the Impact Residency, Marty and I got to attend some pretty awesome events. We went to something called ChefDance, a day spent with food industry leaders including Alice Waters discussing food transformation in our culture-and ate some amazing food! We also got to attend two incredible documentary screenings at Slamdance, a showcase event for raw and innovative filmmaking and met some brilliant directors and producers. Also, we attended a Legion M and Pizza Hut lounge party at the Red Banjo on Main street where we got to taste test Utah’s best Whiskey with creative producers and filmmakers from all around the country!
What is it about Relentless that resonates with the audience? What have people been saying?
Relentless has had the success its had because it is relatable to everyone. Marty’s story makes people appreciate what they have in their lives and inspires individuals to not waste time doing things they aren’t passionate about or don’t care to do. To me, the best response we have gotten was a video sent in from someone in Northern California filming their child, who could no longer walk or talk from a life-threatening brain tumor, being pushed down the slopes again in an adaptive ski chair with the caption “Lily is Relentless!”
Did you experience anything or meet anyone you weren’t expecting?
My mom and I ran into Taylor Swift walking to a “Lyft” after-party on Main street when we were leaving dinner! I also got to meet the director of Soul Surfer, a movie and story I have loved since I can remember-another unexpected experience I got to do was go back to where I filmed some of the doc in Park City, and go tubing!
What are your next steps with the film?
Because of the high demand of interest in screening the doc from universities, businesses, and communities around the country, Marty and I have decided to go on a “2020 Tour” with the film where we will both screen and speak on our experiences before the documentary was made, and what the road it has taken us on together.
Follow Shelby and Marty’s journey at www.relentless-film.com!