Every January thousands of tourists, film lovers, celebrities, filmmakers, and press take the trek to Park City, Utah, to take part in one of the world’s most famous film festivals. For 10 days, the Sundance Film Festival transforms a charming ski mecca into a nonstop whirlwind of movie premieres and parties. Buyers, producers, and techies roam Main Street taking in world premieres, free happy hours, loads of sponsor-provided swag, gifting suites, and the occasional panel. Although the Sundance Film Festival can be magical, it can also be a lot of standing around in the cold for the average festivalgoer. Whether you are a festival newbie or veteran, we’ve rounded up some useful tips to help you get through the Sundance Film Festival with ease.
By Kinya Claiborne and Why Watch That Radio
Map It Out
Unlike the New York Film Festival, the events at Sundance are spread out. So, if you want to maximize your time, you’ll need to have a plan. Be sure to decide what you plan to eat, how you’ll travel from venue to venue, and what to do when nature calls!
Multitasking Is Your Friend
Knowing how to multitask, Sundance Film Festival-style, is vital for an enjoyable experience. If you want to ensure that you’ll make it into a press and industry screening, you might have to wait in line for at least an hour, especially during the festival’s first weekend. So, you’ll definitely want to pack a lunch and a portable charger. Even if you have a ticket, you’ll still want to arrive at the screening at least 30 minutes early!
Though it may be tempting, don’t try to see every movie at Sundance. Even if you were to stay for the duration of the entire festival, you wouldn’t have the time or the energy to see everything. So, pick two or three movies to see each day, and use the rest of the time to do some networking!
Don’t be fooled by the cold: The altitude in Utah will dry you out. To avoid altitude-poisoning and sustain your energy during the festival, keep the water coming!
Dress for the Occasion
It’s winter in the mountains! So, while you might want to get all dressed up on the off chance that you’ll run into Brad Pitt on the way to a screening, we strongly suggest that you rethink that. People at Sundance dress for the occasion: It’s cold, so pack some gloves, a hat, and a thermal mug to keep with you on the go!
Open Your Mouth
Be Chatty Kathy! Everyone at Sundance is somebody, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of the access you’re going to have to directors, producers, actors, and more. Since you’re going to be doing a lot of waiting and the majority of the people in town are there for the festival, you might as well strike up a conversation!
Photo Credit: Vivien + Paul Best from Getty Images