Community Outreach at the Festival

Each year, Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival make a concerted effort to emphasize the value of the Utah community. We'd like to thank them for welcoming us during the 10 days of the Festival and for being such wonderful hosts. Our appreciation is expressed through a variety of programs, including High School Screenings at the Festival, Filmmakers in the Classroom, Community Screenings, and distribution of complimentary tickets to non-profit organizations across the Wasatch Front. Just under 14,000 locals were able to participate in the 2012 Festival through our community programs.

Victoria Bruce (We're Not Broke) talking to high school students at Filmmakers in the Classroom. Photo by Jonathan Hickerson

It's not every day that you get the chance to share in the excitement with a filmmaker as he announces his nomination for an Academy Award, but that was the case as Philippe Falardeau introduced his film Monsieur Lazhar to local audiences at one of the Sundance Film Festival's Townie Tuesday screenings on January 23, 2012. Townie Tuesday is a must-do local's community screening and an opportunity for the Institute to thank the local community for hosting the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Philippe Falardeau during the Townie Tuesday Q&A. Photo by Clayton Chase.

This year the first Townie Tuesday screening commenced at the Redstone Theatre with the short film Fungus, directed by Charlotta Miller, followed by Lynn Shelton's Your Sister's Sister. Both directors were excited to be at the special screening because they were delayed getting to the Festival due to bad weather in Seattle. Charlotta was especially excited because the weather delays caused her to miss the premiere of her film. Townie Tuesday was her first chance to observe the audience's reaction to her film and answer their questions during the Q&A.

Local Audience at Best of Fest Salt Lake City. Photo by Clayton Chase

Best of Fest is another free community event available the day after the conclusion of the Festival. The program is comprised of two or three screenings of award winning films in all four cities that host screenings during the Festival: Ogden, Sundance, Salt Lake City, and Park City. Some audiences at this year's Best of Fest screenings had the pleasure of hearing from the filmmakers themselves, despite the Festival having ended. The audience at the Salt Lake City Screening of Chasing Ice was greeted by director Jeff Orlowski and those in attendance for the Park City showing if The Invisible War had the chance to participate in a Q&A with local producers from the film.

It is our hope that everyone who participated in these community events enjoyed themselves and that others have been inspired to participate next year. We want to thank you for helping us host the Sundance Film Festival, and we are especially grateful to our generous Principal Sponsor Zions Bank and local supporters who make these community events possible: the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, Summit County Recreation Arts and Parks program, Salt Lake County Zoo Arts and Parks program, Salt Lake County Economic Development, Salt Lake City Arts Council, Utah Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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