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Desert Tales No. 2, Vol. 3

Sundance Film Festival 2015

Sundance Film Festival 2015With his earnings from the films Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Downhill Racer, Robert Redford bought the ski area on the east side of Mount Timpanogos in Utah, which is now called “Sundance” where the film Jeremiah Johnson was filmed.

Robert started the Sundance Institute in 1981 around Park City. The popular Sundance Film Festival caters to independent film makers, artists, theatre, story tellers and film buffs each year. I have attended three and will be returning next year as I enjoy the joie de vivre in the fresh air which is very conducive to inspiring audiences and artists alike.

Sundance Film Festival 2015This year’s U.S. Dramatic Competition included: “Advantageous,” director: Jennifer Phang, and screenwriters: Jacqueline Kim, Jennifer Phang. “The Bronze,” director Bryan Buckley, screenwriters: Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch. “The D Train,” directors/screenwriters: Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel. “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” director/screenwriter: Marielle Heller. “The Overnight,” director/screenwriter: Patrick Brice. “People, Places, Things,” director/screenwriter Jim Strouse. “Results,” director/screenwriter Andrew Bujalski. “The Witch,” director/screenwriter Robert Eggers. Just to name a few. There were also horror flicks and comedies to entertain and criticize.

Also presented was Art of Film Weekend, a new four-day program of activities bringing together an assortment of artists interested in the craft of film making.

Sundance Film Festival 2015Park City Main Box Office is located at: Gateway Center, 136 Heber Ave., Park City, Utah. Salt Lake City Main Box Office is at: Trolley Square, 500 South and 700 East. Sundance Mountain Resort Main Box Office: North Fork, Provo Canyon. Eccles Theatre, 1750 Kearns Blvd.

Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main Street, Park City, tel. 435-649-9371; which will be featuring on February 6-8 Terrance Simien & the Zydeci Experience. Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, February 19-22, and Fiddler on the Roof, March 13-22.   

Sundance Film Festival 2015Some Institute supporters are: A + E Studios, BET Networks, Big Beach, Broad Green Pictures, CAA, Focus Features, HBO, ICM Partners, Kickstarter, Miramax, RADiUS, Sony Pictures Classics Inc., Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, United Talent Agency, Vimeo, WME. Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. National Endowment of the Arts; and dozens of individuals too many to list here.

I skied the Canyons but was smart enough to avoid the double black diamonds this year and ignored “Ninety-nine 90 Express” at elevation 9,990 feet and left its harrowing death drop to the ski patrol and masochists. Snow was being made at “Sunrise” with annoying snowboarders ruining the slopes and dangerously flying around my head.

Sundance Film Festival 2015Coupon books could be picked up around the village with generous discounts for everything from 20% off full day rentals of snowmobiles to jewelry and the Heber Creeper train. Everything for the family was available from tubing, winter horseback riding, cross country skiing, dog sledding, and my favourite riding in a sleigh; and of course, the Oasis spa, after a day of hard skiing and a soothing Chinese foot and body massage - ooh, ah!

Main Street in Park City is dotted with fine restaurants including Wasatch Brewery with its own brands of beer and Zoom at 660 Main St. 435-649-9108, with its excellent food and service.

Sundance Film Festival 2015This year’s Sundance Film Festival was very well organized but the traffic was bumper to bumper in Park City without a parking space to be found. It is advisable to call a Yellow Cab: 435-2005-754, or an airport transfer taxi service such as Xpress4less, 435-649-8999, and leave the driving and parking headaches to the professionals, while you enjoy the freedom of partying late into the frosty, starry, wintery, romantic night!


Photography: Alinka Zyrmont

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