Institute History


On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, a thunderstorm sweeps through Boehm, NC, knocking out the power at Edge Inc., the vast furniture factory that dominates the town. In the down time that ensues, three workers make big plans. Wanda, who stencils designs on Edge bassinets, is invited to her co-worker's going-away party. Her "co-worker" is a true artist and the boss's son; the party becomes Wanda's debut to society folk. Across town, Mayhew, who varnishes the Edge dressers, plans to finish up the paint job on the Bentley in his basement. If all goes well, he'll be able to quit his factory job and launch a new career painting vintage cars. Roy, who works on the Edge loading dock has had enough. Haunted by dark memories, Roy decides to take a canoe trip down the Cape Fear River, check into a Hilton, clean up, drink a fifth of Wild Turkey and blow his brains out.

Of course nothing goes as planned. Wanda's co-worker has a cruel streak that she hasn't seen -- or has chosen not to see. Mayhew goes nuts when he believes his wife, Lela, has just about ruined his "career." Roy is headed for an unfamiliar stretch of river, and everything he has ever done wrong in his life is waiting for him at the river basin.

DOWNTIME reminds us that you really don't know the person working next to you -- his ghosts or her quiet desperation. And though you may influence the life of another, you can never fully understand the depth and extent of that influence. DOWNTIME gives us a rare portrait of the living South, a complicated cross section of class and character, and a hard look at the distracting quality of work and what is left when the work is done.


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]