Sundance Institute Public Programming

Share on Tumblr

Photo taken by Jill Orschel

Step into the world of the Sundance Institute Artist Programs. From screenings and script readings to musical performances and discussions, we showcase work supported by Sundance Institute and give you an opportunity to meet the artists and discuss their work. These events are FREE and open to the public.

The Power of Film Music: Art Talk with Peter Golub
Composer and Director of Sundance Institute’s Film Music Program

Tuesday October 22, 2013, 6:00 p.m., Kimball Art Center, Park City
Presented by the Kimball Art Center

Peter Golub, composer and Director of Sundance Institute’s Film Music Program, will show examples from classic and contemporary films, including some of his own work, to examine how music helps shape a film and impacts the audience experience. An informal talk, questions from the audience will be welcome.

Golub, has composed over 30 film scores, as well as concert works. His music is often heard in the theater, recently on Broadway in a production of The Heiress starring Jessica Chastain.

Screenings From Earlier This Year...

A Place at the Table (click for trailer)

Directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush
84 min., color, 2012 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection

Free Community Screening

Friday, May 31, 8:00 P.M.

  • Park City, Park City Library. Filmmaker to attend screening and will participate in a moderated discussion with the Utah Food Bank, Christian Center of Park City, and the YMCA of Northern Utah.

America has lost its way in taking care of its own. The shocking fact is that one in six Americans doesn’t get enough to eat on a regular basis. Even more disturbing is the fact that this new face of hunger is largely invisible. There are no breadlines in the streets, but increasing numbers of soup kitchens and food banks are feeding people who—though employed full-time—can’t make ends meet. A Place at the Table (Finding North) unveils the human stories behind the statistics: a rancher juggling two jobs and a small-town policeman rely on food pantries to survive between paychecks; a single working mom can’t afford consistent meals for her children; a short-order cook must travel more than an hour to purchase fruits and vegetables. As it unravels the real societal costs and applies transparency to the causes of this hunger crisis in the richest country in the world, Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush’s bracing film explores ways that we as a nation can correct this alarming and unnecessary state of affairs.

Senna (click for trailer)

Directed by Asif Kapadia
104 min., color, 2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection

Free Community Screening

Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m., Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City
Friday August 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m., Canyons Resort, Park City

The story of Ayrton Senna, perhaps the greatest race car driver who ever lived, is an epic tale that literally twists at every turn. In the mid 1980s, Senna, a young, gifted driver, exploded onto the world of Formula One racing. As a Brazilian in a predominantly European sport, a purist in a world polluted with backroom deals, and a man of faith in an arena filled with cynicism, Senna had to fight hard—both on and off the track. Facing titanic struggles, he conquered Formula One and became a global icon who was idolized in his home country.

Muscle Shoals (click for trailer)

Directed by Greg "Freddy" Camalier
111 min., color + b/w, 2013 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection

Free Community Screening

Friday August 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m., Town Lift Plaza, Park City
Presented in collaboration with Kimball Arts Festival and Park City Performing Arts Foundation

In a tiny Alabama town with the curious name of Muscle Shoals, something miraculous sprang from the mud of the Tennessee River. A group of unassuming, yet incredibly talented, locals came together and spawned some of the greatest music of all time: “Mustang Sally,” “I Never Loved a Man,” “Wild Horses,” and many more. During the most incendiary periods of racial hostility, white folks and black folks came together to create music that would last for generations and gave birth to the incomparable “Muscle Shoals sound.” At the heart of the story is Rick Hall; overcoming crushing hardship, he managed to entice talent like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett to come and record what became their hit albums, backed up by the funkiest white men ever—the homegrown house band, the Swampers. As the word spread about the electrifying musical chemistry in this unexpected place, the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Staples Singers, the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Simon and Garfunkel magnetically followed suit. Interviewing an incredible roster of musicians, director Greg Camalier unearths a rich history of this unheralded gold mine of American music.

Chasing Ice (click for trailer)

Directed by Jeff Orlowski
75 min., color, 2012 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection

Free Community Screening

Friday, August 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m., Canyons Resort, Park City
Canyons Resort Summer Series, programmed by Sundance Institute

When National Geographic photographer James Balog asked, “How can one take a picture of climate change?” his attention was immediately drawn to ice. Soon he was asked to do a cover story on glaciers that became the most popular and well-read piece in the magazine during the last five years. But for Balog, that story marked the beginning of a much larger and longer-term project that would reach epic proportions.

In this breathtakingly beautiful documentary, filmmaker Jeff Orlowski follows the indomitable photographer as he brings to life the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS)—a massive photography project that placed 30 cameras across three continents to gather visual evidence of the Earth’s melting ice. Chasing Ice tells the story of a visionary artist who, in facing his own mortality, bequeaths the magic of photography and the adventure of the expedition to a new generation and captures the most visible sign of climate change on the planet today.

Little Miss Sunshine (click for trailer)

Directed by Jonathon Dayton and Valerie Faris
100 min., color, 2006 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection

Free Community Screening

Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m., Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
Friday, August 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m., Canyons Resort*

Meet the Hoover family: Olive, a seven-year-old, slightly pudgy, aspiring beauty queen; her father, Richard, a struggling motivational speaker who can't help but push; and her mom, Sheryl, who has to bring her Proust scholar/brother, Frank, home after his failed suicide attempt. Frank has to stay with Sheryl's Nietzsche-worshiping son, Dwayne, who has taken a vow of silence until he is old enough to be a fighter pilot. Then there's Grandpa, recently kicked out of his nursing home for snorting heroin.

When they are all forced to hop into the old VW bus to take Olive to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, this is either a portrait of the most dysfunctional family you've ever seen or the absolutely hilarious tragicomic journey of a family whose lives are in for a change. 

*Canyons Resort screening: The Acoustic Ramblers will play live on the Umbrella Bar Patio at 7:00 PM. Come early to hear rock ‘n’ roll, funk, and groove!

The Summit (click for trailer)

Directed by Nick Ryan
98 min., color, 2013 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection

Free Community Screening

Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m., Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
Friday, August 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m., Canyons Resort

Although K2 is only the second-highest peak in the world, it is renowned as the most dangerous and revered by mountaineers as their ultimate challenge. In August 2008, 18 of 24 climbers reached the summit of K2. Forty-eight hours later, 11 people were dead. What happened on that fateful day has never been resolved. Utilizing found footage, interviews with survivors, and seamlessly realistic reenactments, The Summit zigzags back and forth in time, interweaving multiple narrative threads and piecing together events, hoping to solve the mystery of what actually happened on that day—the deadliest in mountain-climbing history. At the heart of the mystery is the story of Ger McDonnell, one extraordinary man who chose to risk his own life to save others. With the help of breathtaking cinematography by Robbie Ryan and Stephen O’Reilly, director Nick Ryan creates a tension-filled, experiential film that will have viewers on the edge of their seats.The Summit pits Man against Mother Nature in her most majestic and terrifying extreme.

Sound City (click for trailer)

Directed by Dave Grohl
108 min., color + b/w, 2013 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection

Free Community Screening
2013 Summer Series Community Choice Winner. Thank you to all of the #SundanceLocals who voted!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 8:45 p.m., Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
Friday, September 6, 2013, 8:45 p.m., Canyons Resort

Multitalented musician Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana fronts a mission to resurrect the rapidly vanishing human touch behind the creation of music. When Sound City, a fabled recording studio, opened in 1969, it boasted a one-of-a kind recording console. Tucked away behind train tracks and dilapidated warehouses in the sunburnt San... » Fernando Valley, Sound City became rock ’n’ roll hallowed ground where music’s megastars captured their magic on analog tape for three decades.

The advent of the digital age ultimately sounded the death knell of Sound City. Grohl cobbles together a troupe of iconic musicians and singers who once called the studio home. Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Rick Springfield, and Paul McCartney are just some of the legends who jam with Grohl and create a brand-new album on that revered soundboard. Fasten your seat belts. Sound City, Grohl’s outstanding filmmaking debut, rocks the silver screen, not only unearthing music history but making it as well.

Smoke Signals (click for trailer)

Directed by Chris Eyre, Screenwriter Sherman Alexie
90 min., color, 1998 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection

Free Community Screening

Wednesday August 14, 2013, 6:00 p.m., Utah Valley University’s Sorenson Center, Orem, Utah
Presented in collaboration with the Utah Division of Indian Affair’s Annual Native American Summit

Thursday September 19, 2013, 7:00 p.m., Park City Library
Presented in collaboration with Park City Education Foundation and Park City High School’s Author-in-Residence Program
Both filmmaker Chris Eyre and author Sherman Alexie will attend the screening and participate in a post screening Q&A. Arrive early as seating is limited.

The chronicle of athletic and charming Victor Joseph from the Salmon Indian Reservation really begins when he learns of his father’s premature and sudden death. With no money, he accepts the offer of his quirky and garrulous childhood buddy, Thomas-Builds-the-Fire, to pay for the trip, but only if he goes along. Their ensuing odyssey becomes an exploration of social and personal being, but this is not a typical account laced with angst and despair. Eyre and Alexie have fused their cultural legacy with a cinematic vision that is fresh, honest, and deeply cynical of the trite images and ideas about what it is to be Indian in America. 

Buck (click for trailer)

Directed by Cindy Meehl
88 min., color, 2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection, Audience Award Documentary

Free Community Screening

Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 7:00 p.m., Covey Center for the Arts, Provo
Filmmaker Cindy Meehl will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A after the film

A living legend in the horse world, Buck Brannaman was the inspiration for The Horse Whisperer. For this true cowboy, horses are a mirror of the human soul. Reared by an abusive father, Buck eschews violence. By teaching people to communicate with horses through instinct, not punishment, he frees the spirit of the horse and its human comrade. Crisscrossing the world with Zenlike wisdom, Buck promulgates grace in the bond between man and horse. The animal-human relationship becomes a perfect metaphor for meeting the challenges of daily life, whether they consist of raising kids, running a business, or finding your flow with a dance partner.

What is extraordinary about Buck Brannaman, the man, leaps off the screen in this strikingly cinematic film by first-time director Cindy Meehl. Part guru, part psychologist, the adult Buck, who was once a beaten kid, has now beaten the odds. Buck Brannaman could transform your troubled horse. Buck the movie may transform your soul.

Sundance Institute gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Principal Sponsor Zions Bank, Community Supporters Salt Lake Convention and Visitor Bureau, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake County Zoo Arts and Parks, Summit County Recreation Arts and Parks, Canyons Resort, Park City Municipal, Promontory Foundation, Red Butte Garden & Arboretum.

If you are interested in partnering with Sundance Institute to put on a community event, please fill out the application here and email it to