I just got back from 7 glorious days at the Sundance Film Festival. It was my first time not only to Sundance but to Park City, Utah and I am already planning for next year. Like most people I was there not just for the films but to meet people and promote a production, in my case ten episodes of a hilarious comedy series, Brown Nation. Landing in Salt Lake City I drove up the Cottonwood Canyon to Park City while the Uber helicopters whisked festival attendees overhead. On the first day I just took in the sights and the beauty of the Rockies, and appreciated that snow belongs on mountains for skiing rather than on the streets of NYC.
On my first stroll through the ski town of Park City I ran into lots of people from Cannes I met last May in their furs and stylish winter gear and made a mental note for next year of what to pack. The first thing l learned bumping into my friend Julia was about the Sundance Festival Party website. For $99 you can register and RSVP to the many parties going non stop around town. It is a velvet rope website and as I discovered an RSVP doesn’t mean you will get in! I love parties and this was party heaven, and next year I plan to host my own, and have already picked the venue.
On my first day I also learned some of the Utah bar rules when I strolled into the 350 Main restaurant to sit at the bar, you have to order food to have a drink. I later learned that this is a big improvement from years ago when there were no bars in the Mormon state. On my second day I discovered my beloved Jean Georges has a presence in Park City call JG in the St. Regis, at least there I would order something to eat with a glass of wine even if I didn’t have to, as I also found at Robert Bradford’s great train station restaurant Zoom, and Prime, a hot spot with live music.
After five days of networking at parties and lining up for movies, it was time to hit the slopes. Being a novice skier, it is mostly about fashion and looking good and the place for that is the white glove service offered at Deer Valley. On the hill it was easy to pick out the movie people as most can’t ski either. After a day of skiing and no broken bones it was back to parties and networking to find a distributor for my client’s ten episodes already in the can. I met lots of actors who wanted auditions in exchange for introductions to someone who knows someone who could take on distribution.
Planning for next year the first thing is to book in advance, like now. I came on a last minute whim and ended up staying in 4 different hotels and was at the mercy of Uber who were charging 3-4 times the base rate, and on Sunday I discovered there is no Uber so I ended up hitch hiking around which turned out to be the best networking the whole week.
So if you are thinking about taking in the Sundance next year book now, I highly recommend it.