ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

An insider’s guide to the Sundance Film Festival

Jan 17, 2024, 4:26 PM | Updated: 7:43 pm

Signs for the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival are seen in Park City on Jan. 15, 2024. Th...

Signs for the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival are seen in Park City on Jan. 15, 2024. The 10-day festival will premiere films and episodic content, in addition to hosting panel discussions and events. (Marielle Scott, Deseret News )

(Marielle Scott, Deseret News )

SALT LAKE CITY — The annual Sundance Film Festival event kicks off tomorrow and five films are on people’s radar in the United States. 

According to the Sundance Film Festival website, the first half of the event will run from Jan. 18 until Jan. 23. The second half starts on Jan. 24 and lasts until Jan 28. 

This year is the 40th edition of the festival and those wanting to participate can do so in person and online.

Festival theaters are located in both Salt Lake City and Park City. That said, the majority of the festivities are taking place in Park City. 

Entertainment Weekly reported that the most anticipated films to watch this year are Super/Man, Thelma, Freaky Tales and Presence. 

Now, you may be asking yourself “But what do I wear,” before attending the film festival. There is no right or wrong answer, however, there are some suggestions you may want to consider. 

The Sundance webpage has some recommendations for first-timers. 

First, it’s advised to wear wool or ski socks rather than cotton. Park City gets chilly and you don’t want your feet to suffer as you walk from venue to venue. Next, ensure your footwear matches the weather conditions. Boots are recommended. 

As for pants, wear whatever is most comfortable. But when it comes to the upper half of your body, layering is recommended. 

Lastly, don’t forget accessories. Hats and scarves are a great touch to any outfit and will help keep you warm.

Also, sunglasses are an important and practical aspect of your outfit as the snow and sun can be a blinding combination. 

The history of the Sundance Film Festival 

The festival’s history goes beyond filmmaking and began in 1961 when Robert Redford purchased two acres of land in Utah and built a small cabin. In 1969, Redford bought 5,000 acres in the same area and named the land Sundance.

That same year he opened Sundance Mountain Resort to the public. Then in 1980, Sundance Institute was founded. The first lab was held at the resort in 1981 for 15 independent filmmakers. 

Throughout the following years, the institute continued to grow and give independent filmmakers an outlet to showcase their creativity.

For a more in-depth history of the festival, check out the Sundance Insitute website

Related reading: Sundance Film Festival unveils hybrid approach for 2024 event

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An insider’s guide to the Sundance Film Festival