ENTERTAINMENT

A week before Sundance begins in Park City and Salt Lake, individual tickets now on sale

Jan 11, 2024, 3:02 PM | Updated: 8:08 pm

Two people dance in a school gym...

A still from Napoleon Dynamite by Jared Hess, an official selection of the 40th Program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. (Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

(Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

SALT LAKE CITY — With the 40th version of the Sundance Film Festival less than a week away, single-film tickets are now on sale for screenings in Salt Lake City and Park City.

Those wishing to attend screenings in person for the Jan. 18 — 28 event, can choose among the 82 films, eight episodic titles and an interactive experience, along with a slate of short programs. Starting Jan. 25 some films will also be available for online viewing.

“Sundance is a festival for Utah that brings the world together every year and Utahns have a front-row seat,” festival director Eugene Hernandez said to KSL TV.

A still from Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story by IaIan Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute (Eva Sereny / Iconic Images)

In his first full festival at the helm, fully taking over after the festival ended in 2023, he is hopeful Utahns will attend screenings and has emphasized Salt Lake City as an important part of the event. The festival features a Utah Community Program that includes some free screenings, the best of fest Jan. 26 – 28 in Salt Lake and Park City, a local summer screening program and a program for students in grades 9 – 12 with special festival screenings, often with creator Q&As.

“This festival started in Salt Lake with the Utah Film Commission, this year celebrating its 50th Anniversary, and also celebrating 100 years of film in Utah,” Hernandez said.

Robert Redford started the Sundance Institute, the non-profit that runs the fest (and much more,) and took over control of what was the Salt Lake-based U.S. Film Festival. The fest has helped launch major filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Rodriguez — who made “El Mariachi” that played at Sundance in 1993 and gave Hernandez his first big Sundance moment — Kevin Smith, Ryan Coogler, the Coen brothers and Darren Aronofsky to name just a very few.

“The festival is available to you, it’s a local festival,” Hernandez said.

Part of this year’s event will be celebrations of the festival’s legacy with nine program selections from the past, including the most recognizable to many local film-goers, “Napoleon Dynamite.” It screens in Salt Lake and Park City while celebrating its own 20th anniversary with a digital restoration. The Park City screening with actor Jon Heder and co-screenwriter Jerusha Hess.

Two men on the ground in weeds

A still from Napoleon Dynamite by Jared Hess, an official selection of the 40th Program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. (Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

For those wishing to attend, choosing films can be a daunting task, especially as many of them have never been seen by an audience before. The program slate can be found festival.sundance.org/program/films/ with filters to divide films by date, category, genre, interest, venue, availability and accessibility features. Those filters include a way to see films suitable for all ages or films that play in Salt Lake City or those in documentary competition, among many other choices.

Another tried-and-true option for any filmgoer is to work the waitlist lines for any of the films. The Sundance Film Festival 2024 app allows users to get a waiting list number early, be present and enjoy contactless payments with advanced registration. Individual in-person tickets are $30, $25 for on-line screenings.

This year will welcome back more Sundance alumni with such as Kristen Stewart, with two projects, Steven Soderbergh and Richard Linklater. Other notable names include Pedro Pascal, David Schwimmer, Mary J. Blige, Laura Linney, Kieran Culkin, Saoirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender, Steven Yeun, Aubrey Plaza, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lucy Lawless and documentaries on people such as Christoper Reeve, Luther Vandross and DEVO.

From a 2023 recap and economic statement, the festival reports 86,824 in-person unique visitors to last year’s festival. It was the first hybrid festival after the COVID-19 forced massive changes. A report states that approximately 21,400 attendees were out of state and spent $97 million in Utah during the festival.

An Sundance Institute report estimates the festival brought $63 million in Utah wages, $12.8 million in tax revenue and $118 million in Utah gross domestic product. The report states:

There are additional sources of economic activity not accounted for in this report. We omit impacts due to spending by official festival sponsors, unaffiliated businesses that operated around the event, airport taxes for attendees that traveled through Salt Lake International Airport, and secondary spending for visitors that return to the state post-festival since these data sources were not made available to either Sundance Institute or to our research team.

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A week before Sundance begins in Park City and Salt Lake, individual tickets now on sale