Stateline Strong: Rockford Director Makes Name for Himself at Sundance Film Festival

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Park City, Utah is getting a taste of Rockford, Illinois. A local director focused on the Forest City for his latest film, “Mind the Gap”, and the Sundance Film Festival took notice.

“This is where all the best films for the year are premiering,” explained “Minding the Gap” director, Bing Liu, a Rockford native.

This year, Liu’s documentary is one of the films getting attention from Sundance.

“It’s just a lot of craziness and parties and stuff,” said Liu, “but we had a private screening yesterday and it just reminded me what’s most important are the films and the screenings.”

Not only is he from Rockford, but the Forest City is also the focus of his film. Three friends weave through the streets on skateboards as the story takes a raw look at domestic violence and it’s cyclical impact on those who live here.

“It’s gritty in a sense that we get really, really personal inside of peoples’ lives, you know, the good and the bad,” explained Liu.

There are already rave reviews now coming out about “Minding the Gap”:

“Bing Liu’s impressive documentary feature debut is a revealing look at skateboarding and toxic masculinity,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter.

“[It’s] a tour de force of documentary making,” according to The Film Stage. “‘Minding the Gap’ is a lively, often beautifully shot film about a pit of hopelessness.”

Liu says his film isn’t meant to be positive or negative for Rockford – just real.

“I’m glad I grew up there and I hope the people like this story,” said Liu.

“Minding the Gap” isn’t the only film that Liu is earning recognition for at Sundance. He also helped with “America to Me” and before that, “All the Queens Horses” which focused on the Rita Crundwell scandal.

Liu hopes to hold a screening for “Minding the Gap” in Rockford eventually.

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