We know, we know. Sometimes it feels like Utah doesn’t host Sundance as much as we feel Sundanced upon, come January every year. It’s undeniably bonkers during the few weeks that the Hollywood-adjacent glitterati (along with the fur-clad and impractically shod folks who follow them) descend on Park City for the three-week film festival founded in 1991 by that damn-fine darling of Deseret, Sir Robert Redford. But as intimidating as the whole scene seems from the outside, it really can be pretty accessible for the average Utah denizen to navigate…if you do a little research and planning ahead of time.
It truly is the cultural event of the year, and well worth the ogle to download the Sundance App and scan for last-minute tickets for a seat-of-your-pants adventurous film screening evening. Not in the mood for movies? At the Main Street Sundance Music Café, check out live shows every afternoon Jan 25th-Feb 1st, organized by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). If you’re really feeling frisky, you’ll take the opportunity to cut straight to the chase and attend the Sundance Foundation’s opening-night event, An Artist at the Table.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the event is the single largest annual fundraising night of the year, with the goal of “connecting independent artists and audiences to support bold, original story telling.” Past attendees include Ava DuVernay, Jon Hamm, Octavia Spencer, Katie Couric, Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Swift, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jane Fonda, John Slattery, and of course, the still silver foxy AF Mr. Redford, himself. Between the past guest list, the big anniversary, and the planned activities, this event may be sold out by the time this shout-out posts (in that case, put a big ol’ sticky note on your calendar to plan ahead for next year, because this one's not to be missed, if you can help it).
This year, the foundation is pulling out all the celebratory stops with a world premiere viewing of After the Wedding, a retelling of Susanne Bier’s Academy Award nominated Danish film by writer/director Bart Freundlich. Following the screening, attendees will enjoy dinner at the Utah Film Studios, with multi-sensory event design by Utah artist (and one of our favorite humans) Gary Vlasic of V. Project. Sound familiar? You’ll recognize his work at one of our salty city’s hands-down best new haunts, Post Office Place. But this shindig is truly much more than a self-indulgently prolonged selfie-op. According to our all-things-Sundance adroit friend Katie Eldridge of Panic Button Media, “The event brings together directors, producers, writers and actors who share their personal journeys and the risks they’ve taken to tell their authentic stories, and how Sundance has effected their careers and lives.”
See you there? We’ll be wearing black, of course. And practical footwear.
To reserve your tickets or request additional information, call (435) 575-8079 or email [email protected]