What do all those Hollywood executives thronging Park City actually do at the Sundance Film Festival? Most have already seen many of the movies (in much nicer screening rooms around L.A.), and the films they haven’t seen are sold out at Sundance anyway.
There are plenty of parties every night, which are often as hedonistic as Cannes bashes, albeit in below-zero temperatures. But the parties, like the films, are sold-out mob scenes where the crush of bodies and the 7,000-foot altitude make breathing a major struggle. This year, a party thrown by publicity firm Clein & White was broken up by local police – not over noise but because the sardine-packed crowd in the wooden condo created a serious fire hazard. Clein & White had invited a safe number of guests, but like everything else in Sundance, the crashers came.
There’s great dining – if you don’t mind dinner at 4:00. Everything else is booked weeks in advance.
How about a drink? Whoops, this is Utah, where public bars are illegal. You can join a “private club,” meaning a bar that charges $5 admission, or you can drink at a restaurant – if you have a reservation.
It takes a Freudian slip to reveal what Hollywood is really doing at Sundance. Explained one major studio exec at the fest: “I try to ski three films a day. Did I say ski? I meant see.”