The Sundance Film Festival is one of Utah’s best known, most beloved events. Every year artists, directors, actors, and crew ascend to Park City’s beautiful peaks to take part in a celebration of independent cinema, creativity, and the artform of film. The winners and special features of the event often become instant classics, or the most controversial pieces in the medium.
History of The Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival began in the summer of 1978. It was originally founded as a way to take some of the glitter of Hollywood, and move it to Utah. The founders were Sterling Van Wagenen, Cirina Hampton Catania, and John Earle. All three were convinced that with a little glitz and glamour, Sundance could be a major hit.
They were right. With the help and popularity of actor Robert Redford, whose production company Wagenen headed at the time, they propelled Sundance into stardom. Since its humble beginnings the festival has grown to host tens of thousands of visitors a year. It is the dream on many to become a Sundance select, and have their film featured on the festival circuit.
Buying Your Tickets
Tickets are incredibly popular, and they begin selling long before the program details are announced. You can buy priority passes for the first or second half, or purchase them both individually. The average cost is between $3,000 and $3,500.
Press and official credential passes are also available, as well as viewing passes for film festival selected movies. These limit your movements within the festival, and passes must be bought for each half.
You can reserve your tickets here.
Sundance Film Festival Events
Film screenings are the primary focus of Sundance. But they also feature panels, live music, and workshops for artists who want to learn from the best. The 2017 program has not yet been announced, and will be released in December 2016.
Tips and Tricks For Attending
- Consider Booking Your Stay Early – Sundance is a massive festival drawing attendees from all over the world, and every room within miles will be booked. Consider booking your stay early on VRBO.com or with local management companies. It is better to stay locally to take part in all of the events and to use the local bus system as traffic and parking can be really congested.
- Book your tickets as early as possible – Many would-be attendees wait until the December program announcement before they buy their tickets. That means a lot of the passes are going to be gone. Buy early. You could consider making early dinner reservations as well to beat the rush that’ll be in town during the festival.
- Wander the streets – Some of your most exciting celebrity sightings are not going to be at red carpet events. They will be walking down the streets of the town, or dipping into a less busy sandwich shop for a bite. Sundance is home to many unique experiences and meetings.
Learn more about Sundance and other Park City events and real estate at Jensen and Company.