Celebrating its 31st anniversary this year, the 2015 Sundance Film Festival has transformed from an intimate celebration of independent film into a world-class shmoozefest. Over 40,000 attendees invade picturesque Park City, UT for a 10-day winter bacchanal filled with sponsored parties, swag suites and celebrity spotting. For those still coming for the movies, this year’s lineup doesn’t disappoint with 123 feature-length films representing 29 countries and 45 first-time filmmakers. Enjoy our insider’s guide.
Kristen Wiig’s coming-of-age tale, The Diary of a Teenage Girl; Nicole Kidman tackling marital strife in Strangerland, a contender in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition; Paul Weitz’s buzz-worthy Grandma with Lily Tomlin; James Franco as a gay activist-turned-minister in I Am Michael; and rock doc Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. Bonus: Watch a live-streamed tête-à-tête between festival founder Robert Redford and George Lucas at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 29.
Housed in an abandoned train depot, Redford’s Main Street mainstay, Zoom, serves hearty American dishes to a casual crowd. For a show-stopping meal, take the scenic route aboard a glass funicular to Jean-Georges’ award-winning J&G Grill, where private dining rooms and elegant yet rustic fare await. For quick fixes in between screenings, head to the charming and well-situated Atticus Coffee, Books and Teahouse. Or network your way into ChefDance, where private dinner parties are served up by acclaimed chefs.
The alpine enclave boasts hideaways for every taste. The Waldorf Astoria Park City, home to the pop-up Veuve Clicquot ice bar called Powder Ice Lounge; and Montage Deer Valley, where the 35,000 square-foot Spa Montage resides, are festival favorites. High rollers looking for privacy book luxury ski villas with Resorts West; and those looking for charm near Main Street check-in to the historically registered Old Town Guest House, Park City’s only bed and breakfast.
Tired of celeb-packed Main Street? See some real stars during the Stargazers Tour with All Seasons Adventures, an epic after-dark snowshoe experience, complete with headlamp, guides and charts. Want to ski with a pro? Three-time Olympic freestyle skier Kris “Fuzz” Feddersen, St. Regis Deer Valley’s official Ski Ambassador, will welcome up to six people, including kids, for a day on the mountain and even eat complimentary s’mores with them on the Vista Patio of the hotel afterwards. Need to warm up? Have a Rocky Mountain whiskey-tasting tour at High West Distillery & Saloon, the only ski-in gastro distillery in the world, before heading over to Park City Live where Iggy Azalea is headlining the first Billboard Winterfest music festival alongside Skrillex.
Snow is abundant this time of year, 26 inches on average; so warm winter wares are a must. The Tahoe Toggle Coat (shown here), $249 is a rugged yet stylish option, and can be worn with our Resort Cable Knit Sweater , $129, and Classic Riding Boots, $149.99. For him, outdoorsy options such as the Jaspe Popover, $129 are wintertime winners.
See: Courtesy of Sundance Institute:
Eat: COURTESY OF J&G’S AT THE ST. REGIS DEER VALLEY, AND ZOOM:
STAY: COURTESY OF WALDORF ASTORIA PARK CITY:
Play: COURTESY OF HIGH WEST DISTILLERY:
PACK: PHOTO BY GEORGE CHINSEE