The Sundance Institute has begun rolling out lists of films that will be screened during this year's festival which will run from Jan. 16 to 26 and local fans are already busy scheming how to score tickets. The hard-to-get commodity requires some planning but Summit County and Utah residents have several advantages over the droves of filmgoers who come to the festival from all over the world.

According to Linda Pfafflin, of Sundance's ticketing office, it is not too late for Utah residents to register for a special opportunity to buy individual screening tickets before they are available to the general public. There is no cost to register but the deadline, Dec. 16, is approaching. Those who register will be notified by Dec. 19 of a specific time slot between Jan. 7-10 when they can pick the films they want to see. Those who previously purchased ticket packages will be able to select screenings Jan. 2-5. General tickets sales open Jan. 14.

This year tickets are $20 each, except for screenings in the new Sundance Kids section which will be $10 each. Those screenings will take place at Redstone Cinemas and the Salt Lake City Library and feature two films that are generally recommended for kids eight and up (and their families).

Another important date to keep on the radar is Jan. 11 when Sundance will distribute free tickets to Summit County residents for a screening on Jan. 21. The giveaway, for what has become known as "Townie Tuesday," typically draws a long line of hopefuls so plan on queuing up at the Park City Sundance Box Office, in the Gateway Building, 136 Heber Ave/Swede Alley bright and early on the 11th.

Also on that day, Utah residents (valid ID required) can get tickets (while supplies last) to the "Best of Fest" screenings held in Park City at the Eccles Center on the Monday after the festival ends. Typically two of the winning competition films are screened so ticket holders won't know what will be shown until after the awards ceremony. Similar free tickets are available for the festival venues at Sundance Resort, the Rose Wagner Theater in Salt Lake and Peery's Egyptian Theater in Ogden.

The highly anticipated U.S. and World Dramatic and Documentary Competition selections were announced Wednesday, along with the offerings in the more experimental NEXT category. The Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New Frontier films were announced Thursday. The list of Premieres, both Dramatic and Documentary will be announced this coming Monday and the Shorts will be released Tuesday. The lists are posted as they become available on The Park Record website, www.parkecord.com/filmfest .

Additional information about ticketing and much more can be found at http://www.sundance.org/festival/locals/.