Sundance Basics: A Beginner's Guide

This is Part I of North Point Lodge's Sundance Film Festival basics series.  Part I discusses the basic facts about the Sundance Film Festival.  Part II discusses attending the Sundance Film Festival on a budget. Part III discusses my favorite tips and secrets for making the Sundance Film Festival a memorable experience. 

Park City is famous for its world-class skiing and for the Sundance Film Festival. Here are a few basic facts about the festival to get you excited for your visit:

Name: Sundance Film Festival, but it was formerly known as the Utah/US Film Festival (1978-1984); the United States Film Festival (1985-1989) and the Sundance United States Film Festival (1990) 

Founded: 1978 as the Utah/US Film Festival by Sterling van Wagener with Robert Redford on the board. Robert Redford's Sundance Institute took over running the festival in 1985.

Purpose: Honoring and supporting creative expression through film

Timing: January of each year

Duration: 10 days

Location: Mainly Park City, but screenings are also held in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and at the Sundance Mountain Resort near Provo. 

Submissions (2016): 12,000 films. There were 48 first time filmmakers, 28 of which made it into the competition. 

Selections (2016): 120 feature-length films representing 37 countries.

Categories (2016): US Dramatic, US Documentaries, World Dramatic, World Documentaries, Premieres, Documentary Premieres, NEXT, Spotlight, Special Events, From the Collection, Sundance Kids, Midnight, New Frontier and Shorts. 

Attendance: Approximately 40,000 visitors