It’s All About The Parties At Sundance 2012


All the people at the party were drinking wine in one room at Zoom but I wanted food and a bit less ‘scene’. As I hovered but the bounty of greasy appetizers during the Focus Forward party I started chatting with Paul Bunyan in a cowboy hat. I asked him what movies he had seen and liked. Then he said judgmentally, “You haven’t seen much have you?”

“I cover the scene in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival,” I explained. “I don’t have time to see movies.” The cold chill crept in. “Films are the essence of Sundance,” he said with disdain. “Everything else is a waste of time.” The irony of the fact that this statement was made while standing in a party and eating free food was not lost on me. What’s worse is that Tex had no clue of his hypocrisy. Sundancers often split into two camps: the film camp and the party/lounge camp. But both are very much intertwined. Without networking, without parties, without music, without cast dinners, without swag (hell, think product placement and endorsement), these independent films would not be made. Those who can embrace all aspects of Sundance are the ones who get the most out of it. Maybe poor Tex (owner of his own little movie review website) just wasn’t invited onto enough Sundance VIP lists this year.

Exclusive cast dinner were all the rage this past fest with meals and bashes at places like the Supper Suite at the Montage, the LIVEstyle Film Lounge (HBO party), the Bertolli Meal Soup Chalet (7 For All Mankind Fresh Faces party), the Grey Goose Blue Door, The Fender Lodge music sessions, the new STK space, Hyde and Goodnight Gansevoort, TAO, Bing Bar and the Sundance Channel Headquarters, Chefdance and more. The only way in was to know someone.

One way to do that was Tweet. The Tweethouse party rocked and all you had to do to get in was send them a Twitter message asking to come. FYI- if you want to attend Sundance parties it’s best to RSVP long before the Festival actually starts.

The Tweethouse party of free booze and a cold veggie platter preceded a social media panel discussion. Celebs and press both attended and although they never did give away that Sony Tablet they promised to raffle if you tweet “#sonytablet”, I made some killer contacts.

With the editor of Backstage MagazineWith a star from one of my favorite inappropriate TV shows- Outsourced.

Entertainment lawyers throw the best party. Dive and Cozens got down at the Spur with live music, good food and tequila for everyone. There, I met the communications chair for Women in Film and a fellow blogger Christina Kotlar Turchyn.

After tequila comes Vodka, and the cast dinner and after party for Richard Gere’s new film Arbitrage featured free-flowing Grey Goose disguised as a fruity juice shot. IE Trouble.

Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell were in the crowd somewhere at the Grey Goose Blue Door but I only caught Gere’s profile in the distance.

photo credit Jamie McCarthy / WireImage

I expected a sitdown dinner but it was a buffet so the dinner felt no different than the party at the Spur except the healthy, colorful food was fantastic. Wish I had gotten the name of the caterer.

The Sky Lodge partied from 24/7 throughout the first weekend of Sundance as ReTreat took over the upstairs, downstairs and sideways spaces.

Most of the hoopla has ended as we enter the last weekend of the Festival. To find a place toget your rock on, you’ll have to hunt deep. Head over to one of the final screenings and start networking. There’s a big fat “official” Sundance party tomorrow night but that is usually lame and you need a ticket. The food is picked over in less than an hour, the lines for your free plastic cup of wine or beer is slow and people just stand around in a loud, dark, crowded football-field-sized room while video clips of award winners flash in the corners. Skip it; especially if you partied hard at the Nas show tonight.

The rapper headlines at Sugar, 9 p.m. at 268 Main Street. The tickets aren’t cheap ($65) but there’s bound to be a guest list somewhere you can sneak onto. The Massachusetts-based electronic-pop band Passion Pit will perform on Saturday.

Tomorrow (Saturday) singer-producer Akon should take the stage around 11 p.m. after the doors open on Park City Live (old Harry O’s). $50 at and, yes, there’s a VIP list floating around.


One comment

  • Hi Jill! great WP story and happy I connected. Just to let you know Yuri suffered a broken wrist. New place, old house, darkness in the wrong places. His violin and fiddling days are not over but it’s going to take a while. Unfortunately, we have no health ins. Working on getting his music together for an archival DVD. Good project while waiting for bones to knit. I’m writing…

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