The Sundance Film Festival generates a great deal of buzz and excitement each year, and 2016 promises to be bigger and better than ever. From up-and-coming film hopefuls and beloved actors, to creative types who are looking for inspiration and those who simply have an appreciation for fresh and invigorating independent films, the Sundance Film Festival brings you the best all in one convenient—and absolutely beautiful—location. With ten days of vibrant and exciting programs, schedule and events, music, and panels all situated in gorgeous Park City, Utah, this year’s Sundance Festival is set to be a feast for all five of your senses.
Sundance Film Festival Events
The events that can be enjoyed at the Sundance Festival fall into two broad categories: films and panels, and music. Within each category, you’ll find an expansive range of offerings that are sure to evoke, excite, and invigorate you. The following listing will give you the briefest of tastes of the diversity that awaits you at this year’s festival.
- Films! The Features at Sundance Film
The films that you can view are sorted into different genres including: US documentaries, premieres, spotlight, Sundance kids, midnight, and nine other diversified groups. From the classics found in the spotlight, and from the collection categories to the bold innovations that mark entries into the next and special events genres, you can expect crisp and refreshing filmmaking that features cutting edge technologies from around the world.
- Panels and Music at Sundance
Join some of the most innovative players in the world of filmmaking and music of today during the panels offered at the Sundance Festival.
- The Cinema Cafe, for example, offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of the movie-making experience within an intimate atmosphere with some of the world’s top talents.
- New Frontier panels continuously push the boundaries of what is expected in storytelling to mesh the raw talent with innovative strategies to produce material that excites and thrills.
- Music Cafe is the place to hear both soloists and bands as they provide the highly-anticipated musical backdrop for the Sundance Festival.
Sundance Social Events
The Sundance Festival is far from a spectator sport, though. It provides the opportunity for the community to give back as well as benefit from a rich palette of possibilities that will be on site during the expansive event. Don’t forget it you are here on a ski vacation at that time to catch the Apres Ski lifestyle, before the evening premiers!
- At the Artist at the Table benefit event, attendees can kick off the Sundance Festival in grand style and with great aplomb. Hosted at the Eccles Theatre, you can enjoy the latest documentary film from the power duo of acclaimed documentarians, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing—Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.
How to See the Sundance Film Festival
Spanning a period of ten days — from January 21-31, 2016 — the Sundance Festival offers an array of different options that allow you to see the entries. Though fulfillment for ticket packages has passed, there are still plenty of ticketing options that enable you to enjoy the best new talent in the industry and access the events and programs you desire.
- Festival Passes
Whether you want access to all the screenings during the festival, or you simply want to focus your attention on specific areas, officials at the Sundance Festival provide you with customizable options to meet your needs.
- The 2016 Express Pass Second Half, for example, provides you with the ability to enter all the screenings that are presented in all locations during January 27-31.
- The Eccles Pass Second Half enables you to view all screenings at the Eccles Theatre only.
- The Grand Theatre Pass entitles you to access screenings at Salt Lake Community College’s Grand Theatre on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays while the festival is ongoing.
- An Official Credential allows you to enjoy all the non-theatre festival venues available at the Sundance Festival between January 21-31.
- Individual Tickets
If you would rather pick and choose the days and events that you attend, the Sundance Festival also sells individual tickets.
- Utah residents can take advantage of tickets that are available to those that live within the state by queuing up to purchase them online from 10 a.m. MT Thursday until 4 p.m. MT Friday. At the time that you pick up your tickets, you must present a state ID or driver’s license from Utah in order to have the tickets released to you.
- Other ticketing options include open tickets — available starting on January 19 — in which you can purchase individual tickets either online or at the box office to particular film screenings. Day of show tickets are released starting at 8 a.m. for the first screening of the day. These tickets can only be purchased at the box office and are limited in quantity. Wait-list tickets give you the ability to queue up online for a possible ticket for a particular screening. Track your chances of gaining entrance online and arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of the screening to secure a chance of getting a ticket.
There are also a number of free events that you can enjoy during the Sundance Festival. These include concerts, film panels and innovative media installations. Free events are found at all festival venues, which are run for the duration of the festival and don’t require a ticket.
Enjoying the Park City Area
With more than 40,000 people in attendance and events sprawled out across four cities, the Sundance Festival offers a rich and diverse opportunity for anyone who enjoys being entertained.
While the primary location of events is within Park City, you can also travel to Ogden, Sundance Mountain Resort, and Salt Lake City to enjoy the breadth of the entries that make up the festival. Transportation among festival events in Park City is provided by a free shuttle so it’s best to leave your vehicle at your lodging destination. During your downtime from the festival, you’ll find plenty of dining and shopping experiences to whet your appetite nearby.