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NYC State of Mind

Valentina Valentini, ICG MAGAZINE

April 1, 2023

Two New York-based directors of photography discuss their debut features at Sundance 2023

The last time Local 600 Director of Photography Manuel Billeter attended the sUndance Film Festival was in 2007 as a camera operator on Dedication, Starting Out in the Evening, and Joshua. For Sundance 2023, which he describes as "the independent filmmaking mecca," Billeter returned - as director of photography - on Cat Person, his feature film debut after being a "go to" episodic DP for the last 10 years. Billeter's long list of television credits included Law & Order, Person of Interest, Jessica Jones, Luke Cate, Iron Fist, The Affair, Ozark, Inventing Anna, and The Gilded Age.

"It felt like coming home," the New York-based Billeter says of his visit to Park City. "Sitting in a theater filled with people, having this communal experience of watching the film together and witnessing every laugh, gasp, giggle or cringe, all the reactions. Going to the cinema, as opposed to watching things at home, is a sacred space. It gives a sense of community, social engagement and shared experiences."

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