January 14 editorial | ParkRecord.com

January 14 editorial

Film festival burnout? This year should be different

For residents who have given up on attending the Sundance Film Festival, we suggest giving it another try. Granted, the traffic jams, credential-only parties and scarcity of tickets over the last few years have turned into major obstacles, but this year promises to be different.

Sundance organizers have made several significant adjustments to the event logistics aimed at catering to local residents. This year they are introducing a screening just for Summit County residents and they have tweaked the advance ticket sales to give Utah residents first pick of the screenings.

Sundance has also perfected public transportation in Park City. Coupled with the city’s transit system, a constant stream of buses offer a quick and painless not to mention free way to get around town.

But there are a couple of other factors that also indicate Sundance will be less pressurized and a bit more accessible.

The faltering economy has put a damper on some of the peripheral partying that typically accompanies any critical mass of Hollywood celebrities. In past years, it seemed as though nearly all of our favorite hangouts were reserved for private parties during the festival. This year many restaurants and clubs say they are not rented out and, no doubt will enthusiastically welcome your business.

A high-pressure weather system is adding to this perfect storm of tranquility. In the past, as soon as the Sundance banners were raised, the storm clouds moved in. Last year there was record snowfall during most of the festival. But this year blue skies are in the forecast.

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Last, but not at all least: the caliber of the films being screened as part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival is extraordinary. From documentaries about race, religion, gender, culture and the environment to dramatic films about relationships, science fiction and animated fantasy, the slate is wide and provocative.

Parkites: you are officially invited. Go to the movies and revel among the colorful characters in town this week. It is an experience you won’t forget.

For more information about events during the Sundance Film Festival, go to http://festival.sundance.org/2009/ and for an insiders’ perspective follow along on http://www.parkrecord.com