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My Trip to Sundance 2015

It all started when my best friend and I attended the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC and managed to see 17 films in 4 days.

We loved it and decided then that we would find a way to attend the Sundance Film Festival.

 

First, we managed to buy a Sundance 2015 ticket package through an on-line Charity Auction. Next, we booked our hotel and airlines, created a list of movies we wanted to see, and bought some snow-proof coats. We were ready for our Sundance adventure.

Day One -Tuesday, January 27, 2015

We arrived in Salt Lake City, checked in to The Grand American Hotel located in downtown SLC and waited for an elevator to take us upstairs to our hotel room.  As the elevator door opened, there stood Robert Redford. He strolled by as we stood there in shock. Day one at Sundance and we already saw our first star!

Our room was amazingly large with a stunning view of the courtyard.

          

That night we attended The Way of the Rain, a music, art, and dance performance created by Robert Redford’s wife, Sibylle Szaggars Redford. The performance was beautiful and included readings from Robert Redford. After the performance, the audience was invited to the stage to interact with the performers including Robert Redford. My friend got to meet Mr. Redford and give him a hug.

          

Day Two – Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We took a tour of Salt Lake City and heard about the history. Our tour included an organ concert at the Mormon Tabernacle and a visit to the capitol building.

           

We also saw Robert Redford sitting in the lounge area of our hotel. That makes three times that we’ve seen him and it’s just day two!

That afternoon and evening we saw two Sundance Movies – The WolfPack and Mistress America - in downtown SLC.  We also had a wonderful meal at The Copper Onion.

Though we had a ticket for the first movie, we didn’t for the second one and I attempt to do the “Waitlist” thing. Even with the Sundance app on my phone, I couldn’t get the Waitlist to work right but a very nice guy who was in charge of the tickets for the movie gave me two tickets to get in. He overheard me mention I was a breast cancer survivor and he wanted me to have the tickets because his mom died of breast cancer. I was so touched, I gave him a huge hug.

Day Three – Thursday, January 29, 2015

We headed to Park City and check in at the Park City Marriott, the headquarters for the Sundance Film Festival. 

        

We then went to downtown Park City to the Sundance Film Festival ticket office to pick up our Charity package. We saw two shorts – Abandoned Goods and It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise, and three Premiere movies – James White, I Am Michael and Me & Earl and the Dying Girl, all at different theatres! The Q&A for the last two movies included the cast and director.

The Sundance shuttle busses are great and free, but when you are on a tight movie schedule, they can be a bit slow. I discovered Uber and it proved to be a lifesaver in getting us around to all of our movie venues.

Day Four – Friday, January 30, 2015

We had a break in the morning and decided to explore downtown Park City. We found a great place for breakfast – The Eating Establishment on Main Street.  We also visited several of the Sundance Sponsor Venues – HP, SundanceTV, Acura and Chase.

  

  

We saw I Smile Back and Grandma. Because this is the premiere for Grandma some of the cast members, including Lilly Tomlin and Sam Elliot, were there with the director for the Q&A.

Later that night at dinner at Café Terigo we ran into a few famous faces – Sam Elliot, Lilly Tomlin and Jane Fonda!

                                      

 

      


Day Five – Saturday, January 31, 2015

Our first movie Lila & Eve was at 9:00 a.m. and Viola Davis joined the director for the Q&A afterward.

                                                   

We saw the documentary – Best of Enemies and then dashed over to the venue to get in line for the Sundance Award Ceremonies.

  

Our seats were front and center and just four rows back from the famous folks presenting the awards – Adam Scott, Kevin Pollak and Winona Ryder. There was a huge party afterward.

     

Day Six – Sunday, February 1, 2015

It was our last day at Sundance and we made the most of it by seeing as many Sundance award winning movies as possible – Dreamcatcher, Dark Horse, and The Stanford Prison Experiment.

We enjoyed dinner at a great Southwestern restaurant on Main Street in Park City – Chimayo. It was the perfect end to our last night at Sundance 2015!

Day Seven – Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow fell as we headed to the airport to fly back to North Carolina. It was a fun trip with great food, wonderful people and 14 movies! We’ll be talking about this adventure for a long time!