ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Sundance Film Festival, back this year as hybrid event; here are a few tips and tricks

Jan 15, 2023, 8:15 PM | Updated: 8:25 pm

Park City in the snow, preparing for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Joe Davis...

This year's Sundance Film Festival is a hybrid of in-person events and screenings, and online virtual activities. Photo courtesy of Joe Davis

PARK CITY, Utah — The Sundance Film Festival is back, both in-person and virtually. KSL NewsRadio’s Joe Davis has some advice for those looking to attend.

To start, Davis says the festival has evolved over the years. It began as a low-profile venue for small-budget independent filmmakers to a media extravaganza that includes Hollywood A-listers and flashy paparazzi.

This is the first year since 2020 that the festival will feature any in-person events.

“The fact that Sundance was canceled (due to COVID-19), then online and now … back to an in-person event, or a hybrid if you will, … makes it a little bit easier to get tickets to things, or to be able to view things,” Davis says.

Although the event kicks off to the public on Jan. 19, Davis says preparations have been underway for some time. These preparations include transforming different spaces into event venues like impromptu screening rooms and places for film clinics.

“The effort that goes into turning so many locations into venues means pretty much every art gallery you know in Park City has now been turned into some kind of lounge (or) some sort of project to showcase films,” Davis says.

How to have the best experience at the Sundance Film Festival

According to Davis, the best way to get to the festival is by bus. He says parking along Park City’s Main Street will be difficult to find. Additionally, Davis says there are lots of park-and-ride lots in locations that can get you to main venues.

“There’s lots of places to park,” Davis says. “You can pick up a bus and get into town fairly easily.  If you want to try to get closer, my suggestion is the parking lot at the high school.”

According to Davis, this parking lot “usually doesn’t fill up right away.”

Along with this, festival attendees will have skier traffic to consider as well, Davis says.

“One way or another, plan on taking a bus,” he says. “That’s your best way to get around Park City.” 

Davis says patience pays off if attendees can wait until the crowds thin.

“A lot of the folks who come over from California usually clear out (fairly quickly),” he says. “That gives you an opportunity to go and see your films. In fact, it really thins out almost by the end of the first weekend.”

For those not up for a trip to Park City, there are tickets available for some screenings and events taking place in Salt Lake City.

The event will be held from Jan. 19 to Jan. 29. To learn more about the best way to plan a trip, purchase tickets and learn about the featured movies and filmmakers visit sundance.org.

Joe Davis and Devin Oldroyd contributed to this article.

Related: Sundance Film Festival is seeking volunteers for 2023 event

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Sundance Film Festival, back this year as hybrid event; here are a few tips and tricks