Vera Farmiga has been to The Sundance Film Festival for many films as an actor, and last year her directorial debut Higher Ground premiered. This year she attended the festival as an actor in the film Goats and shared what the film festival meant to her.

“The nature surrounding, you’re always going to be influenced by your surroundings and just coming to the mountains and the fresh air in the high altitudes already makes you loopy,” Farmiga said.

Besides the emotional celebration of film, Farmiga sees Sundance as a professional trendsetter in the industry for the entire year. “I suppose it’s always like the start of a fresh year too, even strategically where it starts. It’s like okay, let’s see where the industry is going this year. It is a premiere launching pad. It probably is the biggest independent film festival still today in the United States, if not the world. So it’s always the start of a new year. With that comes anticipation. With that comes new beginnings. It’s always exciting in that respect.”

Unfortunately, when she has a film playing, she does not get to experience the festival as a film buff. “We don’t have time and they’ve already screened and it’s impossible to get [tickets,] they’re sold out and we’re doing press. I wanted to see John Hawkes’ film [The Surrogate.] He’s a good friend and a great fan and I read that script.”