There’s Always Something New at the Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival 2014 was my third in a row so I knew there to expect surprises. Obviously the films are the draw, but the experience at Sundance is always different, too. Three new and/or innovative things in particular caught my attention. In technology, the new E-Wait List was the buzz on the street. People were jumping all over themselves to show me how it worked when I asked.  The Air BNB Haus was another place everyone said I “had to go” and the round pavilion that seemed to pop up out of nowhere showing “The Source” by David Aiken was a “don’t miss.”

Technology – the E-Wait List

You certainly can’t completely avoid waiting in line to see a movie. Besides it’s part of the experience to chat it up with people in line but the E-Wait List site cut down on unnecessary wasted time.  Basically, all you had to do was sign up and then sign in to the Sundance E-Wait List. Then you simply checked the website – which looked and felt like an app – as to the upcoming movies to grab your numbered spot on the list – two hours before the movie.

The downside I heard was that people signed up for movies capturing coveted wait list spots but didn’t cancel when they ended up not attending. But if you did make it in, you showed up to the venue a half hour before and cued up in line based on your number – very civilized!  You didn’t have to leave your friends behind either. Because you linked up with them, you were “in-line” together. To top it off, the real question you wanted to know was answered for you right there on the screen, “What’s the likelihood of me getting in?”  Pretty good? or not!

Capture

Connections:

After getting my cup of coffee and hanging out at the Air BNB Haus for a while, I tweeted “very chill.”  This little spot, well I guess not so little since they took over an entire building, felt like you were visiting your best friend’s place. It was a nice respite from hustle and bustle of Main Street during Sundance – a great spot to relax between movies. You could connect with other people there or find a spot to relax with friends.

There were comfy chairs for reading:

Book

Complimentary tea and coffee for everyone:

Tea

Free Wifi:

Long Table

And a creativity corner where children and adults created some artwork:

Art

 

Innovation – The Source at New Frontier

I was thinking, “Was that building there before?”  A 2,000 sq.ft. round pavilion seemed to appear out of nowhere by the Gateway Center and housed the New Frontier Exhibit, “The Source.”  Filmmaker Doug Aiken interviewed “groundbreaking pioneers in various disciplines who are shaping modern culture” about the source of their inspiration as well as the journey to the finished creation.  These interviews were shown in this round pavilion with six viewing rooms.

The StructureFilms

Watching interviews with architects, musicians, photographers and other disciplines, was inspiring!  I walked away with a greater appreciation for artists who are ahead of their time. Enjoying Sundance experience #3 only made me want to come back for more next year.

A Local’s View of Sundance Film Festival – Opening Weekend

Ticket holderSince moving to Park City, I suddenly find that I am extremely popular with my out-of-town friends.  This could be due to my outgoing personality or wonderful hospitality but it’s doubtful.  The real reason for the sudden surge in attention is my location—Park City, my home, is the host city of the Sundance Film Festival.  I don’t take this personally instead I simply roll with it and enjoy having so many visitors.  My husband and I are never lonely.

LA girls at Sundance resort

First dibs for the opening weekend of Sundance went to my LA girlfriends.  I think I enjoyed showing them around town even more than they enjoyed their first Sundance Film Festival and first time setting foot in the State of Utah.  Experiencing Sundance thorough their eyes made my own experience so much more fun especially since we started off our experience riding the city buses to Main Street and the High West Distillery for whiskey tasting.

Here are some highlights of my LA girls Sundance experience:

Seeing ice fisherman on drive to Sundance Resort –Our official Sundance experience started on Friday.  With some local’s tickets in our hands, we drove through Heber City and over to the Sundance Resort to view our first film. This gave the girls a chance to see Utah’s beauty but also to observe a sport they don’t have in Southern California – ice fishing.  The girls who had totally stressed over what clothes to bring since it was 10 degrees at night were shocked to see people voluntarily sitting on a frozen lake on a folding chair fishing.

Sundance Resort

First film –loved it.  We saw a film titled, “The Machine That Makes Things Disappear.”  The film was about hopes and dreams of young people in Georgia (not the state but the country).  The film was fascinating and haunting so we talked about it over a wonderful lunch at Sundance for hours afterwards and all agreed we’d like to see it again. They loved it!

tickets at sundance resort

Second film – not so much.  We won’t name names but our second film was a head scratcher for all of us.  We all were wondering how it passed the jury to be entered into the film festival.  Part of being a film buff at Sundance is to expect the unexpected and enjoy the experience regardless if the film suits your particular taste.

Sundance

Main Street. We hit all the sponsor venues we could: the HP technology and the lounge for drinks and music. The L’orel make-up bar and Adobe card making station. We were very impressed with the music cafe and became instant fans of an incredible singer, Kat Edmonson and chatted it up with her afterwards.  The LA girls spotted Josh Radnor also listening so we talked with him for a minute and he was kind enough to snap some photos with my friends.   We met the adorable Stella Artois girls handing out special glasses and gifts.

Stella girls

Riding the special event buses – the event buses are part of the Sundance experience because you definitely don’t want to try to park anywhere near Main St.  So those — well most– who ride the bus are in a great mood and super friendly.  We met all kinds of people in-between venues including film festival groupies from all over the world and a screen writer and his entourage from my girlfriend’s backyard in LA.

Bus stop

We now have some new friends and some great experiences from the Sundance Film Festival.  The girls have already put in a “reservation” to stay with us next year.

LA Girls