Angelenos, have you noticed the city feels a little less crowded today? One word: Sundance.
Drawing the likes of industry executives, Hollywood superstars, and film devotees, Sundance is the single most celebrated film festival in the United States. Founded by Robert Redford in 1978 at his Sundance Resort, each year close to 50,000 film-lovers flock to the snowy slopes of Utah’s scenic Park City for this exciting annual winter event.
The event will screen some of the most anticipated full-feature films of the year, including Fundamentals of Caring (staring Paul Rudd & Selena Gomez), Certain Women (with Kristen Stewart & Michelle Williams), Manchester by the Sea (Matt Damon & Casey Affleck), and Tallulah (Ellen Page & Allison Janney) as well as screenings of shorts and documentaries, live music performances, and plenty of panels. Kicking off today and until Jan. 30th when the winners are announced (by a jury that includes Jon Hamm and Lena Dunham) the ski town will be rampant with A-list movie stars and directors.
We reached out to our friends at Coldwell Banker Utah and got some great tips for west coasters making the trek to Park City. From rubbing elbows with Hollywood elite (oh hello, Mr. Gosling), to scoring some stellar food and fun, here’s the inside scoop on the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Where to Eat
If you’re seeking a meal of distinction, River Horse on Main should definitely be on the itinerary. Ranked among the nation’s most notable restaurants, this Park City culinary gem has earned rave reviews by both critics and foodies thanks to celebrity chef Seth Adam’s eclectic and seasonal creations. Menu items range from Oysters Rockefeller and Wood Roasted Bone Marrow to Utah Red Trout and Filet Mignon. There is also a vegetarian menu with a nice array of dishes that include Macadamia Encrusted Tofu and Pasta Primavera.
For a more laid back vibe, try Robert Redford’s Zoom restaurant on Main Street. Rich in Sundance history (Zoom occupies an old Union Pacific Railroad station), the causally elegant spot provides an authentic way to connect the past with the taste of the present. Popular dishes include the infamous Zoom Burger, Truffle Mac n Cheese, and Wood-Grilled Beef Tenderloin.
Where to Stay
Nothing defines mountain-elegance quite like the grandeur of the St. Regis in Deer Valley where slopeside sophistication, breathtaking alpine scenery, and world-class amenities intersect at the base of Park City’s Wasatch Mountains.
Another luxurious destination is the Montage Deer Valley. Tucked away into the slopes of Utah’s Deer Valley Resort, this all-season mountain retreat overlooks the charming and historic town of Park City and offers premier accommodations and true ski-in/ski-out access.
Where to Play
Let’s not lose sight of why we initially came to Sundance. After all, this getaway is all about the amazing films. Tickets range from individual screenings to priority passes stretching the length of the festival (on second thought, you might need your most connected industry pal to get access to this one). Click here to learn more.
In between causally chatting with Clooney about the latest indie flick and mingling the night away at TAO’s pop-up nightclub, make the most of your Festival experience with all that Park City has to offer. A haven for outdoor recreation, don’t forget to work in at least a couple of runs into the circuit.
Where to Enjoy from Afar
Can’t make it to Park City this year? There is exceptional live coverage of the festival, Live @ Sundance, including Sundance Institute’s “Power of Story” panels. Lena Dunham, Robert Redford, John Krasinski, and Chelsea Handler are just a few of the stars that will be participating. The Sundance Institute is also all over social media. Follow them from home for minute-by-minute coverage of film premiers, Q&As, panels and parties on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Youtube, Shapchat and Spotify. #Sundance
Feature photo via flickr