Meet the 2019 Salt Lake Magazine Sundance Team

Salt Lake magazine is ready to provide you with all the Sundance 2019 coverage fit to print… er… publish digitally across our social media channels for maximum engagement. (If you dig it, share it!). Meet the 2019 Sundance Team. Make sure you check back here often, and in the meantime, here’s some faces you can put to the names you’ll see on Sundance bylines all festival long.

Sundance TeamMichael Mejia — Michael is author of two novels, Forgetfulness and TOKYO, and his writing has been published in many journals and anthologies. He teaches creative writing at the University of Utah. He will return to the Sundance team this year as a film critic.

What he’s most looking forward to: “Rashid Johnson’s opening night film Native Son (written by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks); docs on Miles Davis and the Anthropocene; a substantial slate of Latin American films, including Birds of Passage, from the team that made Embrace of the Serpent (2015); and, of course, Appalachian snake handlers (Them That Follow).

Slmag’s Red Carpet Pro Natalie Simson with the rest of the press and oh, some famous handsome guy. Photo by George Pimentel

Natalie Simpson — Natalie is a Salt Lake City-based photographer (Beehive Photography) of 18 years and a regular contributor to Salt Lake Magazine. She lives with her two sons, pretend husband, and her funny-looking Rottweiler/Corgi mix. When she isn’t shooting, you can find her hiking in Millcreek Canyon, at a show at The State Room, or laying in bed with a good book. Her and her “pretend husband, Bryan are the crazies behind the Instagram feed Never-ending Hike, where they share images from a daily hike. So far they are up to 843 consecutive days.

What she’s most looking forward to: I’m looking forward to seeing my old high school pal Jeremy Bobb on The Wolf Hour red carpet this year at Sundance. I’ve also read that John Lithgow and Michael C. Hall might be around for the fest, who I’d love to catch at the premieres for The Report and The Tomorrow Man.

Sundance Team
Stuart gets Jason Segal to pose for a #stuartselfie.

Stuart Graves — Stuart is an avid traveler, music and movie aficionado, will be Salt Lake magazine’s celebrity correspondent. He’s traveled the world to run marathons and climb mountains, but, he says, Nepal is his favorite spot, although Costa Rica is rising in his esteem. He’s been going to Sundance for several years, not to see the films, but in hopes of getting photos with each and every “star.” Watch this space and our social media feeds (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) for his star-studded #stuartselfie.

What he’s most looking forward to: Stuart is most looking forward to seeing (and getting a selfie with) some of the talented and powerful women on this years list of attendees:  Oprah Winfrey, Emma Thompson, Julianne Moore, and Octavia Spencer. He also hopes to get as many selfies with locals as possible. If you see him, ask for a selfie and tag him #stuartselfie and @slmag.

sundance teamJeremy Pugh — Hi everyone. I’ll be running mission control throughout the festival and sneaking in a few film reviews from the Salt Lake venues.

What he’s most looking forward to: Weird, random movies. I love to see random films, totally random. I don’t plan I just float. Seen some great stuff and some horrible stuff. Not sure which is better. Example: last year (or maybe two years ago) I caught Incident at the Nile Hilton, which was an amazing detective procedural set amid the chaos of the Arab Spring in Cairo. On fantastically horrible side: I caught a film called Computer Chess at the tower. It still shows up in my nightmares.

David Shuff — David spent years running around the world, most specifically Japan, Utah and the L.A. film industry before finally settling down in his almost-native Florida, with occasional stints back in Utah as needed, like for Sundance. Watch this space for his videos of the action.

What he’s most looking forward to: “I love feeling the energy of Main Street during the festival. For a short time, Park City becomes the center of the film industry’s universe.”

Follow all of our Sundance coverage here.

Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh is Salt Lake magazine's Editor. He covers culture, history, the outdoors and whatever needs a look. Jeremy is also the author of the book "100 Things to Do in Salt Lake City Before You Die" and the co-author of the history, culture and urban legend guidebook "Secret Salt Lake."

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