Sundance Film Festival is one of the most recognized festivals in the world. Every year, independent filmmakers come from all over the world for a chance to sell their movies to the industry, and we are lucky enough to have that happen within driving distance of our homes. If you don’t know the right steps, Sundance can be a difficult event to attend, but, once you know how the system works, you can attend in Park City, Provo or Salt Lake. Here is what I learned while at Sundance:
Tickets, tickets, tickets.
The schedule for the films is decided ahead of time.At the beginning of January, go through the different film synopses on sundance.org/projects and choose the films that sound most appealing to you. This includes where and what times they will be playing during the festival. You can also confirm the schedule online at sundance.org/schedule. Do not be afraid of the films that say TBA. Those locations do not know what they will be playing, but most likely it will be a film that has been recognized with an award at the festival.
Next, look at the different ticket packages and deadlines onwww.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival/get-tickets. Utah locals have early access to individual tickets and discounted packages. If you are not able to purchase the tickets that you want, Sundance has a waitlist system where you purchase tickets at least two hours before the movie you want, arrive at the theater, and wait in the waitlist line. The festival never sells out movies in order to cater to their waitlist system. Salt Lake City and Sundance Mountain Resort in Provo offer the same screenings and perks of Park City.
You can enjoy the festival closer to home. There are many theater locations that are available in Salt Lake and Provo. Afraid you will miss out on the celebrities and director interactions? Q&A sessions are not guaranteed at any of the locations, but they are done at all locations.
Parking can be a nightmare so arrive early
Parking for the festival at any location is going to be difficult. Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes early to find a parking spot. Parking far away in Park City isn’t much of an issue since UTA provides free rides from parking to the festival theater locations.
Make sure to bundle up as well. Some of the lines for the theater are outside and it can get chilly while waiting.
Sundance is a great Staycation
Park City is such a different little town that you will feel as if you are in a new place. Main Street had wonderful little shops and boutiques that are fun to visit and window shop. There are a few unique art galleries on Main Street as well, such as Park City Fine Art Gallery and Mountain Trails Gallery, among others. They hold art from artists all over the country.
If you are a foodie, Main Street also caters to a wide variety of palates. Wasatch Brewery is a great place for all American food, Vinto Pizzeria has a selection of Italian inspired dishes, and Zoom is a higher scale Sundance Resort owned restaurant that serves a wide menu as well.
Along with food, there are many unique locales that also serve tasty brews. No Name Saloon has a rustic lodge feel but has unique touches such as Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling and decorated toilets on its heated outside patio. High West Distillery is a fun locale where you can take a tour of the distilling process of High West whiskey.
Sundance is one of the unique experiences that you can have while living in Utah. Take advantage of the opportunities that Utah offers. Start with Sundance. You might meet your favorite actor walking through the streets.