Every year during the short month of business, locals and festival goers stop by the Sundance Film Festival stores, eyeing the perfect gift for a friend or commemorating the particular year with a hoodie or a tote bag. Sundance merchandise, a significant source of funding for the nonprofit, ranges from pencil cases to baby onesies to posters, but this year with the help of artist and graphic designer Todd Oldham, the stores are adding a few special products.
"Todd Oldham approached us and said he wanted to get involved," said Nell Gwynn, the merchandise manager for the Sundance Institute. "He really wanted to kick it up a bit."
"I expect sales to be higher," she added. "I hope people are as excited as we are with the new partnership. We have new graphics and artists, and the overall striking nature and edgy look this year."
The festival theme this year centers on arrows, specifically the same arrow signs that are found all around the Sundance Resort. The bright oranges contrast with the sky blue, and the arrow theme is found all over this year's merchandise. A few products are continuing to trickle into the store, such as sticker sets, postcards, mugs and tote bags which hit shelves late this week.
"There's a real sense of excitement and eagerness about this year," Gwynn said. "I think it will be great. And there is something for everyone, starting with the $2 stocking stuffers and going up from there."
Todd Oldham, a New Yorker who has worked for companies such as Old Navy, Warner Brothers and MTV, came on board to help product development in the Sundance Stores this year, creating the logo and merchandise. Oldham is a long-time fan and attendee of the festival, a fact that led him to joining the team and offering his expertise.
"My mother and I have been going to the Sundance Film Festival for many years," Oldham said in a press release. "It's an art holiday that we take and we love it. That was a long time before I ever worked with (Sundance)."
"I love that every walk of life is represented at Sundance and the uniting factor is that everyone loves the arts," he added. "When you can get a world like that, sign me up. It was at Sundance that I saw the first movie that made me realize that film could move me to the degree that it does: Robert Altman's 3 Women. It changed me forever. It was a before-and-after experience. I didn't realize that you could tell stories on a level that could actually rearrange someone's DNA."
The Sundance Stores will be offering a variety of new products, including collectible items from festival alumni and a limited edition book, "Sundance Film Festival A to Z." The book was designed by Todd Oldham who found 24 artists to contribute artwork for every letter of the alphabet, with pages honoring notable actors, directors and films such as Christopher Nolan and Napoleon Dynamite.
The contributing artists include Amy Sedaris, Morgan Spurlock, Parker Posey, Susan Sarandon, John Waters, Stacy Peralta and Mike White.
"It wasn't hard to get them on board," Oldham said in the press release. " I did curate, but the art was really in asking the right person for the right task. And they are so talented Mike White is a great graphic designer as well as filmmaker, Stacey Peralta is an artist, so I knew I had good, wildly creative people."
Each has helped design commemorative buttons, patches and t-shirts which will be available starting on the first day of the festival at the Sundance Store located on Main Street.
Store Hours and Locations:
The Gateway Mall in Park City Dec 21 - 23: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec 26 - 30: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan 2 - 4: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan 5 - 6: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan 7 - 11: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan 12 - 16: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan 17 - 26: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan 27: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Festival Store at Headquarters Park City Marriott 1895 Sidewinder
Jan 14 - 20: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan 21 - 27: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Festival Store on Main 523 Main Street
Jan 17 - 27: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Festival Store at Eccles Theatre Eccles Center 1750 Kearns Boulevard
Jan 17: 4 to 11 p.m. Jan 18 - 26: 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Jan 27: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan 28: 5 to 9 p.m.
Festival Store at The MARC 1200 Little Kate Rd
Jan 17: 3 to 11 p.m. Jan 18 - 26: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jan 27: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.