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Sundance: happy swag trails

Fest draws celebs for more than its films

Once-sleepy Sundance continues to act as a snowball for more media attention each year. But the once-zealously independent fest has become an even bigger magnet for marketers and the pop press.

As Sundance has drawn the likes of Britney and Paris — paparazzi magnets that have little to do with the indie film scene — brands have followed to get their products pictured next to such celebs. And writers from People, US, Life & Style, In Touch, et al., tend to camp out in the swag shacks trying to catch an interview or a pic (or maybe some free jeans for themselves).

One of many, many examples: Motorola, which formerly hosted a mountainside megalodge, has moved to Main Street as the more refined “Moto on Main.”

Journos are encouraged to make appointments to watch the superfabulous pick up their free products.

“We don’t program for commerciality, we program for diversity,” Robert Redford said at the fest’s opening press conference on Nov. 19. “Once it grew, it became a market. So at the outskirts, you get fashion, you get parties, and that’s fine.”

He then cautioned the press corps not to stray too far from the fest’s center, its films.

But then, covering the outskirts might even get a journo a free skirt.

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