Hi all - I'm making my first trip to the Sundance Film Festival this year, and I was hoping you guys could provide some advice on some queer-specific events that are going on during the fest. I'm going pretty much by accident; a friend who was going had to cancel and is letting me use his condo room for free for the first four days of the festival (1/18-1/21), so I figured why not? I'm sure there'll be plenty of L.A. douchebags mulling about, but I've still always been curious what the scene's like. I've seen threads on here about it in the past, but I can't seem to find them (and yes, I searched).
I already know Park City pretty well, so I don't think it'll be a problem getting around or finding my bearings or anything, and I'll have access to a car if I need to go to some party way up in the remote areas of Deer Valley or something. Any tips in general? Btw I'm pretty damn good at bullshitting my way into parties, so door bitches throwing shade don't really faze me. The one event I'm down for thus far is the Outfest Queer Brunch, which sounds fun.
Find out which bars the cool people hang out at say, from around 2PM until maybe 6-ish. And for god's sake go to some panel discussions or some movies so you can act like you belong there. You'll meet people. Do you realize how lucky you are to have the use of a condo for the first four days? housing is always a problem.
Hotels are booked with tourists and groupies and industry moguls and distributors. Lots of deal making. But the major celebs are in and out. They come in, screen their movie, take a couple of meetings, do some interviews and leave. Most spend less than 24 hours all told.
It's expensive for the Indie crowd who have been sleeping on someone's couch for months so they could make a film.You'll have fun if you act like you belong there.
Research and recon, OP.
Thanks, R1, for the unusually (for an R1) uncunty advice! One possibly stupid question: do you have to have a badge or a pass to get into panel discussions? I won't have one. I know you can line up early in the morning the day or a show to get tickets, but I wasn't sure how the more formal parts of the festival worked.
As for sounding like I "fit in," should I toss around a few things about the ins and outs of financing a film via Kickstarter? I have two friends presently trying to do so, one having much more success than the other.
Go to the alternative festivals while you're there. You're more apt to see good work.
bump - any more suggestions?
OP, I'd really like to strangle you. Go to the damned website and find out how the panels are set up. Some charge a nominal fee to attend. Yes, there are events where you need a badge but not too many. I used to go to Toronto and the badges are really bullshit for most of the stuff you want to do.
You can buy individual tickets to movie screenings online, and you can register for individual panels too. Badges count for industry stuff like awards luncheons, and receptions. I don't think you'd need one.
Film financing thru kickstarter is good for about ten minutes, then you'll just look dumb. Why not go to the website and find out which films ran at Sundance in previous years, and watch a couple.
You'll be surprised to discover you recognize the titles. Notice who's films screen this year, check out last year's, and the year before to see which films and or filmmakers won awards at Sundance, too.
You might even want to go to the Sundance Channel or the IFC Channel, or their respective websites, and watch some good movies. You can always tell people that this is your first time and you'd love some advice on how to enjoy the festival, but they might cut their eyes and walk away.
Remember, not only are people there to party and have fun, many of them are doing serious networking. Not to get laid, but because they are into film. and what to do.
OP, really, do try. Make the effort.
Here's the skinny on the queer-themed films that will play at Sundance 2013.
James Franco filmed some racy gay sex he felt should have been included in the 1980 flick CRUISING called INTERIOR: LEATHER BAR that everyone wants to see.
Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsburg in a true-crime film called KILL YOUR DARLINGS.
And David Sedaris's work C.O.G. has been adapted for film starring Jonathan Groff.
The celebrities involved will likely show up for question-and-answer sessions after the movie, especially for the very first Park City screening of their films.
Tickets were registered long ago and surely sold out by now.
So your best chance of getting in is to join the wait list line at the screening's venue at least 2 hours prior to the showtime.
Bundle up and carry food with you.
Park City's main box offices releases new tickets for screenings traded-in every day at 8:00 a.m., so you can always try your luck there. But people start camping out for that line at 5 a.m. or earlier.
I've never done the Queer Brunch because I've always heard it's mostly for queer filmmakers and industry to network; tourists are looked down on.
I wasn't aware that Outfest started sponsoring it and invited anyone in 2010 (but with RSVP required).
But I was told it's a drag unless you're trying to make an industry deal or you're somebody famous.
You'd have more fun joining or crashing the Open House parties thrown by the film producers themselves. Lots of tourists just like you. Every film throws quasi-private parties for promotion, either at a rented Open House or some club/shop/restaurant in Park City. Some have exclusive guest lists you have to get on; others are open to anyone.
Go to the gay movies' websites and Facebook pages; find out when and where their publicity parties are and whether you might attend. The celebrities do attend those parties for at least a bit and the alcohol is free.
Also, read flyers posted near the Main Box Office, posting boards on Main Street and movie venues (especially the Egyptian and the Library, which provide flyer spaces). Random gay parties and events usually show up there; sometimes different organizations set up temporary nightclubs with go-go boys.
There used to be the Queer Lounge -- Ellen Huang would rent out a shop space or a condo to provide coffee-shop services and publicity parties for queer filmmakers. It was a great place to access the internet, meet other tourists and find flyers of different queer events.
It looks like the Queer Lounge is down again this year, but keep an eye out on the web and on the street:
[quote]I already know Park City pretty well, so I don't think it'll be a problem getting around or finding my bearings or anything, and I'll have access to a car ...
Park City becomes a TOTALLY DIFFERENT PLACE in the winter and EVEN MORE DIFFERENT during Sundance. Whether you're driving or taking a shuttle, you'll spend at least an HOUR in traffic between venues or commercial hubs in the city.
If you're driving, you will likely NOT get a parking spot. Most of the parking lots shut down and get policed heavily. Not even curbside parking is allowed during the festival. Sundance provides faraway, large parking lots during the festival and you have to wait for shuttles that go between they and the festival venues.
Commuting and ticket acquisition has become such a hassle for commoners at Sundance that I do most of my film screenings in Salt Lake nowadays.
You have to have a ticket to attend panel discussions, but those don't sell out like crazy.
None of the parties that come with badges (i.e. ticket packages, press passes) are worth a damn. Only tourists attend them -- the meetings with important people are set up privately by industry or Sundance.
[quote]I'm pretty damn good at bullshitting my way into parties ... As for sounding like I "fit in," should I toss around a few things about the ins and outs of financing a film via Kickstarter? I have two friends presently trying to do so, one having much more success than the other.
I can see why you might bullshit your way into a guest-list party, but I'd hate to keep that facade going.
Only one-third of the people who attend Sundance are involved in the industry. One third is local tourists and another third is worldwide tourists, according to the Sundance organization.
You don't need and I don't recommend you do a whole lot of bullshitting.
But I guess that's how I approach all of life.
Check the ads in the local gay rag or its website, Q Salt Lake. Sundance parties open to the public are sometimes advertised there -- classifieds included.
Also, keep an eye on craigslist.
New hustlers often appear on Rentboy just for Sundance in Park City.
I've even found actor wannabes on Manhunt willing to fuck for a condo stay in Park City! (He declined my offer claiming he didn't believe I had a condo).
Here is Q SALT LAKE's 2013 Sundance recommendations:
Ah, NOW the cuntiness comes out! A few responses:
R5, I have zero interest in panels. Sorry. I'm happy to talk film, and I've seen probably most of last year's films that made it into release (and I'll catch any glaring omissions this week before I leave), but I'm more interested in meeting interesting people (not necessarily celebrities) and having a good time. As for viewing films, I have access to all screeners through a source that will most assuredly remain nameless.
R6, I already heard about the Franco flick and have it on my radar. I am well aware tickets sold out eons ago, hence the reason why I plan to show up at 8am each morning. I used to live in Maine, so I think I can handle cold temps.
R7 (same poster, I assume), how does one hear about the various open house parties? Word of mouth, or will there be fliers/posters in specific locations? Or do people promote these types of things mainly online these days?
EXCELLENT suggestion on looking up the gay films' Facebook pages - I'll do exactly that!
R8, kindly fuck off. When I said I have "access to a car" I also meant I have access to a private parking spot (in the neighborhood adjacent to the Town Lift, obviously an easy walk to Main St.). I can also be dropped off someplace if need be. And yes, I'm aware traffic is a nightmare during Sundance.
Also, I always have at least *some* sort of "in" when I'm bullshitting my way into a party, e.g. I know a host, a host's SO, a producer, or - if absolutely necessary - an actual Hollywood bigwig, whose name is perpetually one of the most important at Sundance and who happens to be one of my dad's best poker buddies. And WTF is this Rentboy recommendation shit? Unlike you, I have more self-respect than to let some poor guy whore himself out (to your undoubtedly gross, chunky ass) just for a place to stay.
OP is lucky he got friendly, time-consuming advice from me before I found out he was such a douchebag and a choosey beggar who looks a gift horse in the mouth.
No more responses to your questions from me.
OP = miserable, old phony.
[quote] should I toss around a few things about the ins and outs of financing a film via Kickstarter?
If you want to sound like Paul Schrader, then yes. Unless you're David Fincher, you'll look desperate.
OP - You are going to come across as a fake if you just hang around looking to party. So you need to get some tickets (what happened to your friend's tickets?) and participate in other film events and actually take in the atmosphere of the event.