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How to attend Sundance Film Festival

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    The Sundance Film Festival is held annually in Park City, Utah as well as nearby Salt Lake City. It is considered one of the most prestigious and influential events in the world of independent cinema. Attending the festival can be a dream come true for film enthusiasts, filmmakers and passionate industry pros alike.  

    In this guide, we’ll explore the aspects of attending the next Sundance Film Festival, which begins January 18, 2024, and continues through the 28th. We’ll cover ticket options, volunteering opportunities and how festival goers can make the most of this cinematic celebration.

    Who can attend Sundance Film Festival?

    Most screenings and panels at Sundance are open to the general public, in addition to many industry professionals who regularly attend. However, the level of access to everything at the festival varies.

    Sundance Film Festival tickets, packages and passes can be purchased on the Sundance Film Festival website. These products can be in high demand, and availability may be limited.

    Attending Sundance Film Festival

    Attending the Sundance Film Festival can require careful planning, particularly in terms of securing access to screenings. The festival offers several options for viewing films, each with its own perks and limitations.

    Purchase a festival pass

    Festival passes provide broader access to the festival’s screenings. There are two main types of in person festival passes available to the public:

    • Salt Lake City Pass: Valid January 18-28, this pass provides access to all screenings in Salt Lake City.
    • Express Pass (Second Half): This is valid January 24-28 and allows access to all screenings in Park City or Salt Lake City during the dates the pass is active.  

    Check out the online Festival experience

    Portions of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. Access to online screenings will be available for the second half of Sundance this year, beginning on January 25. You can watch films online with a supported internet browser or TV with the Sundance Film Festival Player. 

    Purchase a ticket package

    Festival-goers can opt for ticket packages that allow them the opportunity to select their films before single film tickets are on sale. Special packages are also available for younger filmmakers (under 24) and for those local to Utah.

    Buy an individual ticket

    Individual tickets grant access to specific film screenings. These may be ideal for festival-goers who are on a budget and are ok with last-minute film selections. All tickets for in-person screenings are $30, and all tickets for online screenings are $25.

    When can I make ticket selections?

    The festival’s schedule may appear overwhelming at first glance, with screenings, panels and events taking place simultaneously. Before the festival begins, plan your schedule carefully, prioritizing the films and events that you are most excited to see and attend.

    Passes and ticket packages are available for purchase ahead of the festival. Here are some important dates:

    • Program announcement: December 2023 
    • Package sale ends: January 5, 2024 
    • Ticket selection begins for Ticket Package-holders: January 8, 2024 
    • Single film ticket sale begins: January 11, 2024 

    Once you have a package you can decide the films you want to see and when. This is referred to as ticket selection, and you have until two hours prior to a film’s published start time to make your choice. Screenings have limited capacities, though, so the earlier you make your selections, the better your chances of securing a seat.

    Volunteering at Sundance Film Festival

    A festival of this size and renown doesn’t boast a studio-film budget. The Sundance Film Festival relies on volunteers, and this may be a way you can attend the festival without buying tickets. Volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival could be an excellent way to experience the event from an insider’s perspective.

    As a volunteer, you may gain access to festival events and screenings during your off-duty hours, similar to the access ticketholders could get. Keep in mind that volunteer positions can be highly sought after, so applying early is recommended. If you’re accepted, you’ll be assigned roles and shifts, then have to complete training.

    Chase Sapphire Lounge at Sundance Film Festival

    If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card, we’ve got news for you: You can access a snug, two-floor lounge space in Park City called Chase Sapphire on Main (located at 573 Main Street). Just show your Sapphire Reserve card at the door, then warm up with refreshments and treat the lounge like your own festival  headquarters.

    At 2024 Sundance Film Festival, Chase Sapphire on Main will host live musical performances, a film panel series of discussions with casts and directors, an exclusive concierge and more.

    General tips for attending the Sundance Film Festival

    Whether you're attending the Sundance Film Festival as a film enthusiast, a volunteer or an industry professional, here are some general tips to enhance your experience:

    • Book early: Lodging fills up fast for the Festival, so make sure to book promptly and consider using the Festival’s official booking partner. 
    • Dress warmly: Park City in January can be exceptionally cold. Dress in layers of warm, waterproof clothing, and don’t forget sturdy, comfortable footwear. 
    • Prepare for crowds: The Sundance Film Festival is immensely popular, so be prepared for large crowds at screenings, events and around town. Arrive early to secure your seat and be patient.
    • Stay energized: With so much to see and do, it can be easy to forget to take care of your basic needs.  Carry water, snacks and maybe a sizable coffee to keep yourself energized and hydrated throughout  the day. Or, head to Chase Sapphire on Main if you have a Sapphire Reserve credit card.

    In summary

    The Sundance Film Festival is renowned for showcasing groundbreaking independent films, documentaries and emerging talent. It provides a platform for filmmakers to present their work and connect with industry professionals. The festival typically takes place in late January, featuring a mix of film screenings, panel discussions, parties and  networking opportunities. The next annual festival runs January 18-28, 2024.

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