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More than one way to experience 2017 Sundance Film Festival
Jan 16, 2017 | 4510 views | 0 0 comments | 560 560 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A SCENE FROM the Sundance Film Festival movie “Yellow Birds.”                                                                                                                          Photo courtesy of the Sundance Institute
A SCENE FROM the Sundance Film Festival movie “Yellow Birds.” Photo courtesy of the Sundance Institute

SALT LAKE CITY  — There’s still time left for Davis County residents to get a taste of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. 

Though international crowds will be descending on Park City next weekend to kick off this year’s festival, there are still several opportunities for Davis County residents to experience a sampling of this year’s crop of movies. Whether you’re looking for military dramas such as “Yellow Bird” to offbeat comedies such as “Lemon,” here are a handful of ways to snag your own seat in the theater. 


Though many of the screenings have already sold out, there’s still one more window where people can purchase tickets. Individual tickets will be online for the general public at starting Jan. 17, and there are a scattering of shows that might still have seats. Among these are a handful of documentaries about hot-button issues, such as the California water crisis (“Water & Power: A California Heist”) and big-game hunting (“Trophy.”) If a screening has any tickets left, they’ll be online up to 36 hours before showtime – after that, they must be purchased in person at the box office. Tickets are $20 to $25 per person, or $10 for kids’ screenings. 


Though it’s not generally a good idea to plan an evening around a waitlist movie, it’s often the only hope of getting into some of the festival’s most popular screenings. If you’ve never tried the festival’s waitlist before, it’s a good idea to register for an account right now at The waitlist for an individual screening will open two hours before the screening, and you should sign up as soon as possible after it opens in order to have the best chance. You also need to be in line no later than 30 minutes before the screening in order to have a chance to get in, and even then there are no promises. 

Some of the movies that may be worth braving the waitlist for could be “Columbus,” the latest from mysterious filmmaker ::kogonada (no, that’s not a typo), “Thoroughbred,” the last film to feature Anton Yelchin, or the buzzed-about “Patti Cake$.”

Best of Fest Screenings

You can still get tickets to the most award-winning movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but you’ll have to decide to go before you know what they are. Sundance will offer free screenings of some of this year’s award-winning films on Jan. 30 at 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Rose Wagner Theatre in Salt Lake, along with similar screenings that will be held in Park City the same night. 

The one challenge is that the film titles won’t be posted online until Jan. 29, and you have to pick up the tickets at the festival’s Salt Lake box office on Jan. 14 from 8 a.m. until they’re gone. 

Though there’s no way of telling which movie you’ll be snagging a ticket to, the fact that all the movies are required to win an award means it’ll definitely be one of the most talked-about movies at the festival. The ticket office is inside Trolley Square, located at 552 S. 602 East in Salt Lake. There is a limit of two tickets per person. 

Beyond Sundance

Even if you don’t get Best of Fest tickets, you might still have another chance to see some of the movies at this year’s festival. One of the first movie purchases of Sundance 2017 has already happened, with Netflix picking up the documentary “Casting JonBenet” and scheduling it for both streaming and a limited theatrical release this spring. Other movies will get picked up throughout the festival, either by Netflix or big-screen distributors, for later release through 2017 and 2018. 

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