Arguably the most influential American film festival, and definitely the largest, Sundance has launched the careers of everyone from Steven Soderbergh to David O. Russell. Every January, the throngs descend on the picturesque ski town of Park City, Utah, to see what the next great movies will be, and discover the faces and talent of tomorrow. Park City is small and easy to navigate, but the festival isn’t. Here are our tips on how to do Sundance with style (including packing ideas of what to wear for any winter getaway!)
Screenings at Sundance are like no other film-going experience; the crowds are enthusiastic and the director is usually on hand to answer questions after it’s over. There are so many films to see, it can be hard to choose, not to mention, hard to get a ticket! Plan in advance by buying a pass to ensure you can see what you want—pass holders are entitled to early ticket access. Want to leave it to chance? You might stumble upon a gem! Check the chalkboard at the festival box office on Main Street, or on the handy Sundance app, for day-of ticket availability. This year, we’re especially excited about these two films.
Nothing Left Unsaid– Style icon, Gloria Vanderbilt, shares her complicated and fascinating life story with the ultimate interviewer—her son, Anderson Cooper. She is, at 91, truly an inspiration. (Note the amazing and fabulous cabbages…)
Sophie and The Rising Sun– Set at the dawn of World War II in the town of Salty Creek, South Carolina, this period drama centers on the blossoming romance between a Japanese newcomer and a woman who has spent her life in the town. This is director Maggie Greenwald’s fourth Sundance premiere.
There are so many places to stay in Park City, it can be overwhelming. For festival going, the key is to stay somewhere accessible to the free theater shuttles that loop through Park City and its environs. There’s nothing nicer than ending a long day by relaxing at a peaceful retreat. Our two cents?
Washington School House Hotel– This former school-turned-gorgeous-boutique-hotel is conveniently located on a quiet block near Main Street’s shops, ski lift, people watching, and restaurants. Boasting twelve beautifully designed rooms, warm service, and elegant decor, this is a perfect perch for festivalling. Added bonus: amazing breakfasts and après-ski (or film) snacks that should not be missed—plus unpacking services!
Waldorf Park City– If you are as interested in skiing as seeing films, the Waldorf Park City is as luxurious as they come. Located slightly away from the hustle of the festival hubs, it’s still an easy ride to most theaters. And you’re just as likely to see movie stars in the stunning-yet-cozy wood-beamed lobby as you are anywhere else at the festival.
You can spend a day seeing movies, and another one people watching up and down Main Street. But one of the best things to do in Park City during the festival is enjoy nature—the usually crowded ski lifts are nearly empty, since the hotels are filled with industry types.
Restaurants that are usually open and easy to get into can be difficult during the festival. Many rent themselves out as invite-only event spaces, while others book up fast. On a cold winter’s night, we can never resist the Seafood Fra Diavolo at Grappa Italian Restaurant, located in a lovely old house overlooking Main Street.
Casual chic is the way to go; the goal is always to feel great while looking great! Here’s our dream outfit to enjoy the madness, fun, and inspiration of this spectacular film festival.