Utah Film Commission’s Top Picks for Sundance

Beginning this week, the streets of Salt Lake and Park City  will be swarming with celebrities, film-junkies and frustrated locals. In other words, it’s Sundance season!

As always, the ten-day festival will feature films and festivities fit for every taste. But for those that lean a little indecisive, the Utah Film Commission has curated a special selection of this years most promising works.

Something for the family:

For five years the Sundance Institute and the Utah Film Center has compiled a “Kids” category designed for children ages seven and up. This year the most promising features are “Lu over the Wall” and “White Fang,” a reimagining of the classic by Jack London.

 Something local:

Quiet Heroes, a made-in-Utah documentary, directed and produced by Jenny Mackenzie, a Utah native, will make its world premiere this season.

Shot in Salt Lake City, the documentary details the states own AIDS crisis, where patients throughout the state relied on a lone doctor for treatment.

Something International

The “World Cinema Documentary Competition” will feature 12 documentaries by some of the most ambitious international filmmakers. A Polar Year (France) follows the story of

Anders, a native of Denmark who travels to rural Greenland for a teaching position. And This Is Home: A Refugee Story (USA, Jordan) offers insight into the lives of four Syrian families relocated in Baltimore and their attempt to rebuild their lives.

 Something Real

The “Documentary Premieres” section showcases content by renowned filmmakers on a host of important subjects. The festival’s Salt Lake opening night film, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, chronicles the life of everyone’s beloved neighbor, Fred Rogers.

Something Different

The ‘NEXT’ section includes innovative storytelling paired with the latest in digital technology. 306 Hollywood (USA, Hungary) follows two siblings in search of what life remains in the objects we casually discard.

Something Relaxing

Even the most ardent film-lovers need a break every now and then. Fortunately, the annual ‘Utah Film Commission on Main’ venue will be open for snacks, internet access and ongoing activities throughout the festival. Doors are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19-25. You can visit film.utah.gov for more details.

 Something Salt Lake

Copper Common, a trendy bar and restaurant located downtown, is hosting a nightly Festival Lounge for patrons aged 21 and up. There will be live music and plenty of opportunities to discuss your favorite offerings with fellow film-junkies. In addition, Salt Lake’s Rose Wagner Center will also be hosting a festival lounge from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Jan. 25-27.

 Something Free

After the festival is over and done, Sundance Institute offers free screenings of award-winning ‘Best of Fest’ films to locals in Salt Lake, Park City and Sundance Mountain Resort. Screenings are complimentary and all tickets are subject to a “first-come, first-served basis” from all main box offices on Feb. 13. ‘Townie Tuesday’ screenings for Summit County residents are also available.


It’s important to remember that roads traveling to Park City and Salt Lake City will be congested during the festival. Allow yourself plenty of time to get from point a to point b, and take advantage of the free shuttle system offered to festival patrons.

Devon Alexander Brown
Devon Alexander Brownhttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
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