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On Scene: Your Complete Guide to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Written by Kelly Weimert on Friday, January 18th, 2019 at 3:07am.

The Sundance Film Festival takes place every winter in Utah, bringing together some of the best new filmmakers and storytellers in the world who showcase their stories to an eager, and often elite, audience. The annual program has taken place since 1985 and helps launch the careers of diverse and talented filmmakers, as well as provides worldwide recognition for some of the globe’s most important stories. This year, the event lasts for 10 days, January 24 - February 3, and welcomes more than 124,000 attendees across three locations: Park City, Salt Lake City, and the Sundance Mountain Resort. 

Sundance Film Festival Main StreetSundance Film Festival

The Sundance competition showcases dramatic and documentary features and shorts; series and episodic content; and New Frontier, which features emerging media in the form of performances, films, and multimedia installations. To complement its wide breadth of storytelling offerings, the festival also hosts daily panel discussions, filmmaker conversations, and live music events, providing audiences with a comprehensive and fully immersive experience.

Panel Discussion at Sundance Film FestivalJoan Jett Performs at Sundance Film Festival

The culminating experience of the festival is its Awards Ceremony when diverse juries comprised of influencers in the international film community bestow various awards for dramatic and documentary competition categories. Additionally, audiences are invited to vote for their favorite films in five different categories.

This year's festival saw record-breaking submissions, with creators from 152 countries submitting more than 14,000 features. 112 feature-length films were selected, representing 33 countries and 45 first-time filmmakers. The competition categories include U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions, as well as a NEXT category, which features particularly bold works that merge technology and storytelling. Additionally, there are World Premiere categories for both documentaries and features, which, in the past, have included such popular films as The Big Sick, Call Me By Your Name, and Boyhood. Among the 112 films selected for the multiple competitions, include Big Time Adolescence written and directed by Jason Orley, Midnight Family directed by Luke Lorentzen, and Divine Love directed by Gabriel Mascaro. Check out the Sundance Film Festival Program here for a complete list.

Sundance Film Festival Evening Party

In addition to seeing amazing films, the festival offers many opportunities to meet and engage with fellow film enthusiasts. There are a ton of sponsor venues and activities, such as SundanceTV, which offers daily panel discussions with industry leaders in addition to evening parties, like the Official Kick-Off Party and the third annual Yacht Rock Party. You can also hit up Chase Sapphire to sample countrywide cuisine and check out a celebrity-chef cooking demonstration. And if the crowds have you feeling exhausted, you can head to Lyft Lounge for a latte, hot cocoa, and conversation with fellow festival-goers. Other vendors that feature interactive events include Stella Artois, IMDb, IndiwWire, Dropbox, High West Distillery & Saloon, Dell, Acura, and Canada Goose.

Chase Sapphire on Main Sundance Film Festival

2019 Sundance Film Festival Tickets & Info

This year, the festival takes place from January 24-February 3. Tickets go on sale to the public on January 22 at 10am, and range from $25 for an individual open ticket to Express Passes, which provide access to all screenings during the first or second half of the festival for $4,000. Check out the video below to get the low-down on the different ways to see films at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and to learn the difference between passes, packages, and individual tickets. To purchase, click here.

Everything Else

Find everything else you need to know about the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and how to make the most of your visit over on the festival's website: sundance.org.

And, if you're one of the lucky festival goers, don't forget to check out the festival map below, and download the Sundance Film Festival app here

Can't make the trip this year? We've got you covered:

    • Follow the official festival hashtag #sundance


All images courtesy of: sundance.org


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