SALT LAKE CITY - You don't have to drive up to Park City to get a taste of the Sundance Film Festival.
Though winter weather and the crowds make it challenging to get up to Park City, the festival also has several activities happening in Salt Lake, Ogden and online. From screenings to free concerts to online goodies, there are any number of Sundance Film Festival opportunities right at your fingertips. Some of the opportunities are even free, which means that your wallet won't get in the way, either.
Sundance holds a scattering of screenings at Peery's Egyptian Theatre in Ogden, and even more at a variety of locations in Salt Lake City. Some of the screenings might still have tickets available, which you can find by clicking on the ticket link for the specific screening at sundance.org/schedule (tip – The Grand Theatre and Rose Wagner Theatre are larger venues, which means screenings there are more likely to still have seats available).
If you can't get tickets, that doesn't mean all hope for a particular show is lost. The festival has an e-waitlist at ewaitlist.sundance.org, with a list of instructions available online at sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival/get-tickets under the "How to Fest Without Advance Tickets" link. Though the ewaitlist tickets aren't a sure thing – and you have to be there at least a half hour early – it's an opportunity to see some of the festival's most hotly anticipated shows.
Movies aren't the only thing Sundance Film Festival has to offer. The festival also holds regular free concerts by a variety of independent bands, and one of the locations is at the Sicilia Pizza Kitchen in Salt Lake (35 West Broadway). The concerts, sponsored by Visit Salt Lake, will be held Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. and Jan. 22-23 and Jan. 25-30 at 8:30 p.m. at the Kitchen. The series ranges through a variety of genres, from Mark Dago's video game-inspired hip hop to Triggers & Slips country and blues music. For a complete schedule of performances, call 801-961-7077
If Salt Lake and Ogden are still too far away, you can still experience Sundance without leaving the comfort of your home. All of the festival's Cinema Cafe panels will be livestreamed on Sundance's website, sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival/program/CIN-guide, which means you'll get to hear from Norman Lear, John Krasinski and more at the same time as the folks in Park City. (Sunday's Film Church, unfortunately, will not be livestreamed). All streams start at 11:30 a.m., so you might have to watch them at work (though if you do, I suggest headphones).
If that's not enough to satisfy you, the festival's YouTube channel (which can be found at youtube.com/user/sff), has a ton of videos including interviews with directors who will be at this year's festival, excerpts from events at previous festivals, and entries in various short film competitions. Though they're loosely divided by category – the year of the festival, for example – feel free to let yourself be lured in by a particularly interesting title or description.