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Doing the ObamaDance

January 20, 2009

They were dancing in the streets on Tuesday at the Sundance Film Festival after President Barack Obama was inaugurated. Little wonder.OBAMA/

For 25 years, the top U.S. gathering for independent movies has been a bastion of support for cinematic art and film culture. Movies that have premiered here, such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” have championed environmental causes, and numerous others have shed light on the lives of native Americans, black Americans, gay Americans and just about every sort of American.

In past years during the festival, people have protested the Iraq War, but this year they were all smiles because they feel that, along with more support for liberal causes in general, the new Obama administration will renew a governmental commitment to helping fund the arts. Yet, most people at Sundance seemed to hear Obama’s call for personal action in what the new president said is “a new era of responsibility.”

“We can’t just go on autopilot,” said Andy Lipkis, president of Los Angeles environmental group TreePeople. “If we just sit on our hands and hope, we’re going to be very disappointed.” Lipkis was at an inaugural watch party sponsored by the backers of environmental film “Dirt: The Movie.”

Down Main Street in Park City, where Sundance is held, hundreds of people watched the inauguration on a jumbo television screen set up outside. When it was over, the loudspeakers cranked up U2′s “Beautiful Day,” and people began dancing in the street. For a look at a few of the events. click below.

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