Film Festival organizers, staff and volunteers deserve Oscars |

Film Festival organizers, staff and volunteers deserve Oscars


An often repeated phrase heard around town this week was that the film festival seemed more mellow than usual. Assuming this is true, there is a huge cast to thank.

Foremost among them are all of the public safety personnel who work overtime for 10 days ensuring filmmakers and filmgoers are safe. That includes police officers who patrol the streets and festival venues, building officials who count party goers at Main Street nightclubs to make sure they don’t surpass safe occupancy limits and the parking enforcers and traffic cops who try to keep traffic flowing.

The thank-yous also go out to maintenance workers, especially those who shoveled and plowed the winding trails between venues. Their efforts enhance Park City’s growing reputation as a walkable town and help to keep excess cars off of the streets.

Sundance, too, deserves a deep bow for its accommodations to our town’s unique needs including postponing the festival until after MLK weekend which allowed Park City to fill its beds with skiers during the height of the winter season

The Sundance Institute has been a generous community partner, offering locals first dibs on screening tickets, free tickets during the festival and special free screenings of the winning films after the festival closes and by hosting a dynamic student outreach program. While the festival itself is an enormous economic benefit for the city, as well as the state, those extra gestures give residents the opportunity to participate in the festival’s rich cultural offerings, too.

Both Sundance and Slamdance Film Festival organizers should also be praised for their commitment to independent filmmakers and the causes many of them highlight. Due to their vision, Utah residents have gained a world of experiences without leaving home.

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Everyone, from the festivals’ deeply committed directors to the hard-working volunteers will no doubt heave a sigh of relief Sunday night as the festival wraps up. But after a good night’s sleep or two, we’ll be ready to begin planning for the 2016 festival.