You might be tempted to think that you’re missing out on some mega celebrity affair by not hitting the slopes in Park City, Utah every Sundance, but even Robert Redford is pretty much over the spectacle, and he’s especially over Paris Hilton. With cramped and over crowded hotels, tiny theaters for movies that were sold before they arrived and temperatures that are even worse than the slushy snow they create, I don’t know many people who actually look forward to going anymore. It’s mostly a networking obligation and paparazzi zoo. If you’re a big fan of the following, then Sundance might still be for you.
If you love hash tags, selfies, constant status updates, rapid fire tweets and ignoring real life people in favor of your online persona, you’ve found your Mecca. You will be amongst your people. There is no actual trading of thoughts, ideas or legitimate business opportunities outside of your own personal brand. The swag found in the gifting suites is pretty epic, but good luck getting an invite. If you’re not worth getting a picture with, you’re not worth giving a Swarovski crusted knit cap to.
The amount of people I’ve known to come back from Sundance with mono is disturbing. Yes, mono. Most of the adults, celebrity or not, who find themselves at Sundance are generally a devolved brand of grown up that ends up revisiting their adolescence during the trip so I suppose the disease is fitting. That said, what happens at Sundance never stays at Sundance. It follows you home, it chases you around social media, it meets you at the Toronto International Film Festival and it stays in bed with you for nearly a month while antibiotics do their best to kill the physical effects. The emotional and Google effects, however, are long term.
This is one of the last Independent Film Festivals and it takes place just up the street from Sundance. Slamdance doesn’t act like a 20 million dollar budget is an indie feature. Most of their films were shot for between $50,000 and 1 million dollars, with the former being more often. If you’re braving the crowds anyway and you’ve got some time to kill between Slamdance screenings, go check out the crazy parade down the street so that you can say you’ve done it, but in a far more respectable manner than having actually gone to Sundance as a willing participant.
What do you think? Is Sundance over? Should you just head to Whistler for great skiing and Toronto for great films or is there hope for the Park City darling?