Black at Sundance: 9 Survival Tips For First-Timers
For cinephiles, industry folks and aspiring industry folks, film festivals provide opportunities to network, rub shoulders with some of Hollywood's A-listers, and screen indie films before studios snap them up and distribute them in theaters.
The Sundance Film Festival is one of the biggest film festivals in North America, so if you’re going to visit just one fest each year, we suggest you make the trek to Park City, Utah to "dance in the Sun." Founded in 1985 by Robert Redford, the winter film fest gets bigger each year with screenings, panel discussions, events, and parties.
Navigating through Sundance can be an overwhelming experience —especially for first-timers. And considering that there are only 50,000 Black people in the whole state of Utah, it can be difficult to meet and connect with other Black creatives on the Mountain. Here are some Sundance tips to make your experience as productive and enjoyable as possible.
1) Join Sundance’s mailing list
If you’re not sure where to begin, we suggest joining Sundance’s mailing list. This way you can get alerts about dates, when to schedule your travel, book lodging and when tickets go on sale.
2) Get your lodging situated first
Sundance is EXPENSIVE. But the festival dates for the following year are announced almost as soon as the festival ends. If you plan on going, it’s wise to lock in your lodging as soon as possible. Though it’s possible (and more affordable) to stay in Salt Lake City, which is a 40-minute drive to Park City, getting as close to the festival and Park City’s Main Street is ideal.
If you stay in Salt Lake City, you're going to either have to rent a car or pay for transportation to get up to the mountain every day, so be sure to budget for transportation.
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