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An insider's guide to the Sundance Film Festival: What to do and wear

What to see, do and wear in Park City

Chase Sapphire® is a presenting sponsor of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, an independent film exhibition in the United States. Launched in 1981, the Festival showcases new movies, music events, panel discussions and more each January in Park City, Utah.

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Maybe it was the exhilaratingly brisk mountain air. Maybe it was the lush, snow-covered scenery or the warm, welcoming people. Whatever the reason, Robert Redford fell in love with Park City when he first came through Utah in the late 1960s and put down roots, eventually founding Sundance Institute.

Thirty-six years later, the Sundance Film Festival has exploded, drawing 45,000 attendees annually to discover their own countless reasons to fall in love with Park City. From world-class skiing to boutique shopping to sampling haute cuisine on Main Street, there's something for everyone, and Park City insiders are eager to share some of the best ways to make the most of your time at Sundance--whether you're new to the experience or a repeat visitor.

Score the hottest tickets in town

As Managing Director for Sundance Institute, Sarah Pearce is passionate about celebrating the art of storytelling. The Festival's many world premieres shown in twenty different locations across town "entertain us, they educate us, they inspire us," she says. The 2017 lineup focuses on cutting-edge and experimental works more than ever. "We have an amazing venue called New Frontier," says Pearce, "which celebrates artists that are using technology to tell their stories." She also recommends making sure to check out the 15 virtual reality projects being showcased this year at the VR Palace. "It's really going to be exceptional," says Pearce. For those seeking non-celluloid entertainment, she notes, "We also have a Music Café that highlights emerging and established artists every day during the Festival."

Hang out between screenings

Movie lovers looking for the ultimate insider experience will want to head to Chase Sapphire on Main. "There are great opportunities to connect and hang out there between screenings," says Pearce. More than just a cozy lounge to recharge in, this home base hub will also host a VIP premiere party and cocktail reception for Chase Sapphire cardmembers. Everyone is welcome to sample A Taste of Park City, attend a chef demonstration and free behind-the-scenes Q&A sessions featuring actors, directors and writers from some of the most buzzed-about films, including The Little Hours, Ingrid Goes West, Golden Exits and Marjorie Prime.

Dress like a local

The beautiful people at Sundance are just as famous for their fashion as they are for their fandom. Cake Boutique owner Katie Hammond has plenty of experience when it comes to achieving Park City's coveted "mountain town casual" look, as she describes it. The secret, she says, is mastering the art of layering, an effortless way take you from après–ski to after-party. "Anything with fur is really standout right now," says Hammond. But there is one quintessential piece every outfit needs: a great pair of winter-proof boots. "You don't want anything that's going to be ruined with the snow," advises Hammond. She has a warning for newcomers, too: "This is not the time to be wearing heels."

Whether you're most looking forward to checking out Sundance's biggest trends on screen or on the Park City streets, there's little doubt you're sure to fall head over ruggedly-chic heels, just like Robert Redford did.

Read more about all that the Festival has to offer on Chase.com/SapphireOnLocation.

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