Category Archives: Scene

Rare Enough Short Documentary

Rare Enough Short

“Do yourself a favor and take 12 minutes to watch Rare Enough. A short story of @djaystewart, as he battles the unimaginable while finding joy through friends, family and skateboarding,” Tony Hawk.

Imagine having your life be everything you always dreamed. New wife, new house, great job, good friends and an athletic life.

All of the sudden, darkness washes over you.

Groggy, you wake up in a hospital bed. The doctor walks in and says that you had a seizure, you have brain cancer and 13 months to live.

That’s what happened to DJ Stewart in May of 2019. Skateboarder, business owner, husband, friend, family man, and overall life enthusiast, DJ was living the dream with a lot of life ahead of him. That was until the unthinkable occurred.

RARE ENOUGH— a short documentary directed by Ryan Lovell—takes you on an intimate journey through DJ’s story with DJ himself in the driver’s seat.

From his initial diagnosis to countless treatments, this visually compelling film documents how DJ’s attitude, friendships, and the Kansas City community are helping him beat the unbeatable.

Directed by Ryan Lovell
Director of Photograhpy: Chris Durr
Editor: Ben Kaplan
Sound Design: Ben Kaplan and Connor Birch
Audio Mix: Connor Birch
Audio Post Production: The Post Haus
Colorist: Matthew Filipek
Key Grip: Pat Monroe
Camera Operators: Tyler Krupski & Shawn Wright
Art Department: Cory Hinesley
First AC: Evan Wunsch
Main Title Design: Mitch Durr

38th Sundance Film Festival Off To A Rocky Start

38th Sundance Web Page

It may be Day Three but there’s still plenty of time to get in on the Sundance Film Festival game. Unlike the in-person experience where everything is sold out months in advance and people wait hours in a freezing-cold standby line, hoping package holders don’t show up for a particular screening, the online or “virtual” Sundance Film Fest is the ultimate version of “inclusive”. No matter where you live, your socio economic status or the company you keep, the only thing holding anyone back from watching a Sundance flick will be their tech savviness.

Only Buffers a Few Times

The complaints and drama abound regarding the 38th Annual Sundance Film Festival. In an effort to “do the right thing”, organizers killed the live part and went virtual without much notice. The technology was in place thanks to last year’s Covid chaos but visitors expecting to finally travel to Park City, Utah, for January had purchased ticket packages upwards of $750 for live screenings and events that would not happen. Sundance’s response to the request for refunds was to thank everyone for their donation; leaving people with only one option – rage on Facebook and dispute the charges with their credit card companies.

Then there was the automatic cancelling of everyone’s ticket selections (including thoses who only had online tickets) in order to transition to their online platform and forcing everyone to start anew. Because the live screenings moved to virtual, there was shuffling to be done and it wouldn’t be fair to make those with live tickets have to take the leftovers.

Another issue that was immediately apparent were the struggles older generations faced trying to link computers to smart TVs. Sundance developed a Festival app that, if you could understand the instructions, was fairly easy to download, connect to your account and stream all of your selections on Roku, FireTV, etc. Your movies sit on a screen of thumbnails and switch from “coming soon” to “renting” as soon as they hit their screening time. However, many took to Facebook to complain about not getting pin codes, not finding their films after the setup, or having their movie stop mid-play and getting kicked out of the app. It did happen once to me but I was able to immediately return to my film where it left off. Another bonus is the ability to pause to grab a snack or use the bathroom.

Taking Your Online Picks

If you’ve done it once, you can do it again. With my former selections in hand, I easily navigated to my first choices and selected them all over again. Thanks to increased bandwidth, only a handful of films are now sold out – like the three awesome movies I’ve seen so far (The Worst Person in the World, Call Jane, Fresh) and the Sundance team is holding out on the Best of Fest tickets until later in the week so those might be available to watch then. If you want to watch a Sundance film it’s entirely possible.

Single Ticket Prices For Sundance Films

It’s a pricey $20 ($15 for Utahns) to screen one Sundance film from your couch but invite five friends and it suddenly makes sense. Have them buy the cocktails, popcorn or pizza and it’s a better deal than the theater. The only differences between a Premiere ticket and a second screening ticket is that you have a shorter window to watch your movie (three-hour window vs. 24-hour window) and the chance to participate in a 30-minute live Q and A after the premiere. But because these live chats can only be viewed on a computer and, let’s be real, we all would rather toss to a 55″, you’re better off going for the second screening tickets where you have more flexibility to see the movie and you can watch the replay of the Q and A for free later if you want. For example, I watched Call Jane and a few hours later, I opened up my computer, surfed to the film description and clicked “watch the Q and A replay”. BTW, these recorded Q&As are available to all and not just ticket holders.

You can also purchase a Day Pass, $75, and watch movies until your brain explodes or the day ends; whichever comes first. The Explorer Pass ($25) will get you access to the short films, the New Frontier and three of the Indie Series programs.

See Sundance Films In Theaters

Twenty cities including Salt Lake City are planning in-person ‘satellite’ screenings. If you want a pseudo Sundance experience check out this list of live events to see if there’s a theater near you.

What’s Free At the Sundance Film Festival

There are so many ways to check in with Sundance, the movies and the filmmakers for free. Navigate here to see what’s on tap for any particular day. Sundance does a How to Fest Daily with Festival Director Tabitha Jackson at 10 a.m. MST presented by Acura. There are Daily Recap Videos presented by Adobe, and the highlights of what happened the day before all on Sundance’s YouTube Channel. In case you missed it, be sure to watch the Robert Redford 2022 Festival Welcome.

International Pro Skier Tryouts

International pro skier tryouts

Throwing it back to the days of neon, skinny skis and Hot Dog, Look Bindings + Pit Viper put together a fun, wild short featuring the fictional International Pro Skier Tryouts. This could be a legit thing if the current ski landscape wasn’t filled with safety Karens and liability questions. Ah, the good old days!

Who remembers the Chinese Downhill? This competition will come down to the fastest, the highest, the most extreme lines ever shred by Spandex-clad skiers on straight skis. I’m still impressed by the gal jumping rope in ski boots! It’s Sander Badley vs. Turbo at the International Pro Skier Tryouts. Who will finish with all the glory?

Oh, and it was filmed at Snowbird!

2022 Sundance Film Festival Goes Virtual and Cancels “Hybrid” Event

Crowds at Sundance Film Festival

2022 Sundance Film Festival: Update

The Sundance Institute announced today that they’re caving to the Omicron variant.

“The 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s in-person Utah elements will be moving online this year. While we’re disappointed to not provide the full hybrid experience and gather in-person as intended, audiences this year will still experience the magic and energy of our Festival with bold new films and XR work, the discovery of new storytellers, direct encounters with artists, and an innovative globally accessible social platform and gallery space.”

The Institute had hoped to bring their annual Sundance Film Festival back to an in-person experience, but the recent record spread of the Covid-19 virus in Park City and beyond forced their hand. When you think about it, it’s not really that thousands of attendees might get sick; it’s that staff, volunteers and resources would fall victim. Look at what happened this Christmas- hundreds of employees got sick and stayed home leaving the resorts and support services to operate at half-capacity, obscene liftlines, limited terrain, no dining availability, cancelled flights and all-around pissed-off guests. Can you imagine the lines at the theaters and venues if half the volunteer staff went missing?

No Hybrid 2022 Sundance Film Festival

Sundance had been looking forward to the first fully hybrid 2022 Sundance Film Festival (and I was too! Watching movies from my couch but hitting the speaker series and parties that were cancelled last year). However, Omicron’s high transmissibility rates “is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country. We do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers, and partners from around the world, for an eleven-day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services.”

The Festival is the most important fundraising tool the Sundance Institute has for underwriting the year-round artist support labs so they’re not about to go silent for a year. Therefore in two weeks, audiences will gather online starting Jan. 20, 2022 as promised. Screening schedules are being adjusted to add those that would have only premiered in person. I’m totally psyched for the entire Animation Program to be online! Seven “satellite partners” will also host screenings for locals from January 28-30. As previously announced, single tickets will go on sale January 13 (January 12 for the membership pre-sale) at 10 a.m. MST. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is a good call. The Christmas period had a terrible impact on our town. Sure, the hotels and CEOs at Vail Resorts were rejoicing but locals and guests struggled. Sundance brings nearly 50 thousand people to town. Egads! The bright side of this is that if you are thinking about a Park City ski vacation, get your asses out here! Lodging will be clearance sale cheap and the resorts and restaurants empty. And I’m now freed up for more private lessons. 😉

Free Sundance Film Festival Tickets For Locals

Sundance Film Festival Marquee
I just picked my Festival films! The program went live this week and the Sundance Film Festival tickets went on sale for Press and Industry today with everything being released to the general public on December 17.

Sundance Film Festival is back with in-person screenings, lectures and gatherings but for those still afraid of catching Covid in a movie theater, the Institute has instituted a variety of protocols that should make you feel safer. They range from mandatory vaccination card presentation and onsite PCR tests to online viewing of just about everything the Fest has to offer. Would you believe that you have to download an app and show it to people at the door to prove you’re infection free? If you attend a party, they will also force you to get another PCR test if you want back in on the public screenings!

And while there are some restrictions on movie choice if you are not in the USA, organizers have made the Festival more accessible than you could ever imagine- and that includes local opportunities.

Sundance Film Festival Locals

The Sundance Film Festival will once again offer locals-only opportunities for the 2022 Festival. The Festival takes place January 20–30, 2022, and as part of its new Local Lens program, they have planned a handful of free in-person and online screenings, ticket discounts, student screenings, and more.

This 2022 version features a lot less opportunities for the public to have a seat at the table- three less theaters, no Music Cafe and more. It’s to “protect the health safety of the community,” said Festival Director Tabitha Jackson.

Following are the Local Lens offerings with details on the specific film screenings. Locals can prepare for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival by registering online at and sign up for Insider emails here. Details for how to get tickets to the free screenings and how to take advantage of the discount offer will be on the locals page (and more on that below.)

In-Person Free Screenings
For residents in and around Summit and Salt Lake counties, the Festival will offer the following free screenings. Thursday, January 27: Two Summit County screenings at the Park City Library and Redstone theaters. One Salt Lake County screening at the Grand Theatre
Friday, January 28: One Salt Lake County screening at the Grand Theatre
Additionally, there will be two free Best of Fest screenings in Park City and Salt Lake City on Sunday, January 30, with each venue exhibiting an award-winning fiction and nonfiction feature from the 2022 Festival. Two films at the Eccles Theatre in Park City. Two films at the Grand Theatre in Salt Lake City.

Online Free Screenings
Utahns from across the state can participate in two free Sundance Film Festival feature film screenings from the comfort of their homes.
On Saturday, January 22, catch a film during the first weekend of the Festival on the online Festival platform.
On Saturday, January 29, locals can log back in for a Best of Fest award-winner film.

Free Screenings for Students
The Sundance Institute provides Utah high school students (and their families ;)) with the opportunity to watch three screenings of feature-length films and/or view a shorts program during the Sundance Film Festival, and then have a conversation with the artists who created it about the film’s themes, storytelling, and production. These free screenings engage students with emerging and leading independent filmmakers, introducing them to new perspectives.

The screenings for high school students will be available through the online platform exclusively, allowing young film lovers in grades 9–12 to participate from anywhere in Utah. Educators interested in having their classes attend an online screening should contact

Discounted Access to the Festival
For a limited time only, the Salt Lake City Package can be purchased at an early bird 20% discount ($100 savings) for $400 starting on December 17, 2021, through January 3, 2022, after which the package price will return to $500. Created for Utah residents, this package offers 10 in-person tickets to feature film screenings at all Salt Lake City venues, with early access to ticket selection, and includes all the benefits of our Explorer Pass.

Beginning Wednesday, January 26, the Festival will offer a 25% discount on single tickets – $15 ($5 savings)- for locals for in person screenings taking place on Wednesday, January 26, through to the end of the Festival. Utah residents can receive a $5 discount for up to four single tickets per person, based on availability. Utah residents who have created a Sundance account will receive the discount and tickets can be purchased online or in person at any box office location beginning January 26th at 8:00 a.m. MT.

Sundance Film Festival Venues
Festival venues for 2022 include both theater and non-theater locations. Non-theater venues will host conversations and events (including live music and panels) — an ideal spot for Utah artists to converge. The Sundance Film Festival’s online platform will expand the reach by increasing accessibility for audiences across Utah (and beyond).

Park City
All Park City theater venues will be operating for the duration of the Festival (January 20–30):
The Eccles Theatre, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, UT 84060
The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., Park City, UT 84060
Holiday Village Cinemas, 1776 Park Ave., Park City, UT 84060
The Library Center Theatre, 1225 Park Ave., Park City, UT 84060
Prospector Square Theatre, 2175 Sidewinder Dr., Park City, UT 84060
The Ray Theatre, 1768 Park Ave., Park City, UT 84060
Redstone Cinemas, 6030 Market St., Park City, UT 84098

Two Park City non-theater venues will be operating from Friday, January 21, to Tuesday, January 25. These venues are free and open to all Festival patrons:
The Filmmaker Lodge, Elks Building, 550 Main St. (2nd Floor), Park City, UT 84060
The Craft, 950 Iron Horse Drive, Park City, UT 84060

Salt Lake City:

All Salt Lake City venues will be in operation for the duration of the Festival as well:
The Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
 Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. Broadway (300 S.) Salt Lake City, UT 84101 
Broadway Centre Cinemas (2 screens), 111 E. Broadway (300 South) Salt Lake City, UT 84111
SLC Library Theatre, 210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 

Two Salt Lake City non-theater venues, hosted by Visit Salt Lake, will be open from Friday, January 21, to Saturday, January 29:
Festival Lounge at Copper Common, 111 E. Broadway #190, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
The Queer Lounge at Twist, 32 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Sundance Mountain Resort
Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, 8841 N. Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, UT 84604

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