3 Lessons That I Learned During The Sundance Film Festival

On January 18-28th, the annual Sundance Film Festival took place up in the snowy mountains of Park City for its 33rd year. The 10-day intensive festival was filled with odd and dramatic, independent films, that range from comedy to documentaries, top-notch music events, and of course our favorite, celebrity sightings! Every year, filmmakers, actors, musicians, and more travel from all over the world (mostly Los Angeles) come together in Park City to share each other's passions for their crafts, and I can say it's one of the best times of the year in Utah. 

Growing up in Park City and Los Angeles, I have always enjoyed the vibe that Sundance brings to the little town. I love seeing all the Sundance visitors walking around in their green-colored afros, puffy fur coats, and also watching them eat sh*t on our icy sidewalks--but that's just when I'm casually walking up and down Main Street. I also love seeing the variety of films that are brought to the festival every year - each one of them are special in their own way, whether it's a dramatic film from Germany, or a documentary based out of Canada, I'm always loving it! However, my absolute favorite part of Sundance is going out to all the private parties and music shows, and connecting with people. 

I can honestly say that I have never been this "partied out" in my life before. Everyone knows that Sundance is one of the biggest party weeks in Utah, due to all the A-list clubs from Los Angeles and New York that take over different buildings in Park City, and you can't forget the top listers in the music charts that take over the Park City Live stages and other venues that Sundance brings. Every night, I was always out. I was either dancing my heart out at Park City Live to Diplo and Marshmello, or I was on the list for a private event in various Sundance private lodges. Even though my body may be feeling incredibly weak right now, I don't regret one bit of these past ten days. And through this week and a half, I learned three lessons about how to make my (and your) Sundance experience even better in the future. 

1. Go with the flow

When I say 'go with the flow', I'm talking about not planning out for Sundance festivities minute-by-minute. I, personally, can be horrible when it comes to planning out a whole day of stuff to do, because of what you may encounter at the last minute. But unless you have tickets to a show, don't plan out your night! Even if you're on the list to a private party or two, don't plan out what times you and your squad are going to leave an event, just to arrive at another. Fun fact: when I was down on Main Street, I ran into this rapper named Kosha Dillz that was just casually rapping on the streets to festival-goers walking up and down the street. And guess what, he asked for my number, because he said he could get me into this lounge this weekend--a moment that never would have happened had I not been spontaneous. I went with the flow, ended up tagging along with the rapper to all of lounges where he performed. It was an incredible experience just hanging out with an upcoming, LA rapper who just rapped everywhere he went. Take my advice, and just go with the vibe! 

2. Try something new 

On Wednesday night, I got on the guest list for a reggae show at Park City Live where Tribal Seeds and The Wailers were performing. Knowing me, I am a true EDM & Hip-Hop fan, so reggae wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but I still decided to go and get a taste of what live reggae would be like. I brought my friend, and we had a hell of a time! Point is, when you get the opportunity, dive into something you normally wouldn't experience. If you get tickets to a movie you aren't necessarily interested, go and do it! You never know what you'll be obsessed with--and Sundance definitely knows how to expand your mind. 

3. Have the f**king time of your life 

As I was saying before, I have never been this partied out before in my life. If you are given an opportunity to enter a Sundance party, or a free concert during the festival, GO DO IT... and don't be afraid to have too much fun! Don't be afraid to get a little too drunk and dance on a couch (or a bar table... whatever feels comfortable for you). This is Sundance, no one is going to judge you. And don't be afraid to go all out for certain events. No one cares! Just choose your best interest within Sundance, and live your life. If you want to see all the movies for the year's lineup, go see all the movies. If you want to go celebrity hunting all day, go find celebrities all day. If you want to stay out all night on Main Street, and hop to all the special events and concerts going on, just do it. This is the biggest party week of Utah, and it's your time to live it up!

Looking back on my last ten days at Sundance, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I'm so grateful for all the opportunities that were given to me for work and pleasure. I had the absolute time of my life, and I hope next year that you get to live it up the same way I did. Take these three lessons next year and you will have the time of your life at the Sundance Film Festival. 

All photos were taken by Sophia Chartrand