Editorial: Mayhem is coming, but Parkites should ride the Sundance Film Festival wave
Strap in, Parkites.
The film world is readying to once again descend on Park City, as the 2018 Sundance Film Festival is slated to kick off Thursday afternoon (accompanied, of course, by its rebel cousin, Slamdance, which begins the following day). As always, we’re in for a wild 10 days.
There will be traffic nightmares, swarms of visitors and, in general, mayhem in every direction. Some Parkites elect to head out of town to escape the maelstrom. The majority, though, weather the storm and, indeed, many do their best to embrace the opportunities that come with it. We can’t endorse that course of action strongly enough.
Sure, there will be some headaches for locals along the way, but where else do folks get to experience something like Sundance in their own backyard? Those who join in on the action rarely regret it. Whether you walk away moved by a film, enlightened by a discussion panel, mesmerized by the lineup of stars wandering Main Street or simply invigorated by the energy buzzing through our town, you’re sure to have an extraordinary experience if you put in the effort. And those are the memories of Sundance 2018 that will linger for years to come, much more so than being stuck in a traffic jam or having to navigate the aisles of a grocery store packed with out-of-towners.
One need only recall last year’s festival, which was remarkable for a host of reasons, for proof of how soaking in Sundance can inspire locals. The lineup of films was unsurprisingly exceptional and the action offscreen was even more noteworthy. The highlight, of course, was the Women’s March on Main, with some of the biggest stars attending the festival like Chelsea Handler, Charlize Theron and Nick Offerman marching alongside Sundance attendees and regular Parkites.
It was a sight to behold and the kind of spectacle that could have only happened here under the backdrop of the festival.
This year’s Sundance will be different, of course, but should be no less exhilarating. Going in, it’s impossible to say what films will stand out or what will leave a lasting impression. But we know for sure they will be 10 days to remember.
Given the traffic, tourists and crowds that are coming our way, it’s understandable that some of us prefer to hunker down and emerge when it’s all over. But riding the Sundance wave, wherever it takes you, is almost always worth it. Parkites brave enough to dive in will be rewarded by finding that out for themselves.