Kevin Smith Celebrates 28 Years Since Clerks First Screened at Sundance

The annual Sundance Film Festival is currently in full swing, introducing movie fans to some of the newest independent films. A new Sundance means some filmmakers are reflecting on past years, including Kevin Smith. In fact, today marks 28 years since his directorial debut, Clerks, screened for the very first time at the iconic festival. In honor of the anniversary, Smith took to Instagram to reflect on the initial reactions to his first movie.

"HAPPY CLERKS DAY! 28 years ago, CLERKS screened for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival at the Holiday Village Cinema, 10pm on a Saturday night in Theater 1. I recall @samosier & I standing in the lobby with Bob Hawk & John Pierson, having zero clue as to what the Park City Citizens & industry denizens would think about what I assumed was our *very* Jersey film. And as the opening credits rolled, not only was my inaugural flick legitimized by the single most important film festival in America; I also learned that – New Jersey roots notwithstanding – a crappy job is a crappy job everywhere. People related to the movie even if they'd never been to the Garden State because at one point in their lives, EVERYONE has worked at jobs they didn't like. As these strangers in the dark laughed at all the same scenes my friends back home found funny, I was speechless – so much so that, at the end of the flick, I declined the opportunity to do my very first Q&A. Since it was close to midnight, I figured nobody wanted to hear from some dumb rookie. I've since learned that the Q&A part is almost as fun as showing the movie – and now you can't shut me up. But that was kinda the Clerks experience in a nutshell: it was like one long fun-filled learning curve. For example: When I made Clerks, I had a stick up my ass about working at @quickstopgroceries – which is why Randal bitches 'This job would be great if it wasn't for the f*ckin' customers.' But that was just capricious youth talking. The grown-ass me who has seen the world on the wings of Clerks, marveled at Clerks' inclusion on the National Film Registry in the @librarycongress, and made #Clerks offshoots and sequels many times (including this fall's Clerks III)? He knows a truth that Randal could never conceive of about all those folks he used to vend to – the quirky characters who captured his imagination, so much so that they wound up immortalized in grainy black & white. THAT Kevin Smith may have built the rocket that got me here, but THIS Kevin Smith realized a long time ago that my #QuickStop job was great BECAUSE of the f*ckin' customers! (Speaking of customers, there's a Clerks Day Sale link in my bio!)," Smith wrote.

Smith recently wrapped production on the highly-anticipated Clerks III, and he revealed in September that the first cut of the film is complete. Since production for the movie began, Smith has teased a lot of connections to the original Clerks. Fans should expect to see the return of some fan-favorite characters as well as some classic locations and some original costume pieces. The latest Clerks III news came last month when Smith revealed he cut the runtime again

Clerks is now streaming on Paramount+. Clerks III is expected to debut sometime this year.