Park City is a buzz as it readies to once again be in the international spotlight. The Sundance Film Festival kicks off January 24 and will run thru February 3. For the locals, this is a great time to hit the slopes as the majority of folks in town will be on Main Street and at the many film screening venues. Prepare for heavy traffic and crowds with more than 124,000 people expected to attend the festival, and some cutting-edge films to view. Be sure to take advantage of the free Park City Transit to get around town! The buses also serve as an entertaining way to mingle with festival goers.
For those who have not yet purchased tickets, Utah residents get a discount and there may be some left each day on the eWaitlist. Whatever your level of involvement is with the festivities, rest assured you will be hard pressed not to enjoy the excitement. And if you’re a people watcher or stargazer, keep your eyes open if you’re lucky enough to get a dinner reservation on Main Street. You never know who you’ll be dining next to! While many businesses are closed for private parties and gifting lounges during the first few days of the festival, some remain open to the public. It’s often less hassle to dine off Main Street. Suggestions are Blind Dog, Boneyard, J&G Grill at the St. Regis, Glitretind at Stein Eriksen Lodge, The Farm at Canyons Village, and the new Hearth and Hill at Kimball Junction.
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival is said to have broken the record for the most film submissions at 14,259. In addition, this year’s festival is slated to have the most diverse line-up of films – 40 percent are directed or co-directed by women, 36 percent by a person of color and 13 percent by someone who identifies as LGBTQ. Since starting in 1985, each year the festival selects about 200 films to be featured from countries all over the world. In addition to films, there are panel discussions, music, parties and many other ways to take in the festival.
For independent filmmakers and the audiences that enjoy their work, the Sundance Film Festival provides a place for the original voices of filmmakers that may not otherwise be able to showcase their works to the masses. Festival awards are given at the end of the festival and can change the lives of those filmmakers. Documentary and dramatic film category awards are given by selected juries and five Audience Awards are given based on votes tallied from audience members. The Awards ceremony takes place Saturday, February 2 at Basin Recreation’s Fieldhouse.
The last few days of the Festival tend to be a bit easier to score film tickets. Your best bet is to show up at the larger capacity venues like The Eccles Center and the PC MARC; there are often people selling extra tickets. Award-winning films are shown on the final Sunday, and since many award winner ticket holders may have already seen them earlier in the festival, the chances for finding an extra ticket are pretty good. You can also try the wait list.
As a thank you to locals, the Sundance Film Festival screens two award winners for free at The Eccles Center on Monday evening, February 4. New for 2019: tickets will be distributed via the eWaitlist. Beginning two hours before the screening time, locals can request a wait list number through their eWaitlist account. For more information on the eWaitlist, visit sundance.org/wait.