Tag Archives: park city

Who’s Coming to Sundance 2024

will farrell in a sundance 2024 film

Trying to spot a celebrity during the Sundance 2024 Film Festival is a bit like playing Where’s Waldo. Sure, you could wander Park City’s Main Street, watching for a horde of paparazzi, but you might be fooled. Once, I walked up and asked a guy with a fancy camera whom he was shooting and he said, “No idea but everyone else is taking their picture so I figured it must be someone important.” It certainly wasn’t anyone I recognized so I moved along.

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of someone famous in the film biz, your best bet is to stand outside in the cold just before one of the film premieres at Eccles or The Egyptian Theater but it’s way more exciting to brush elbows as they exit the Filmmaker Lodge or The Variety Studio.

You may be wondering, however, who you’re looking for. No sense wasting your time searching for a selfie with Paul Rudd if he never caught a flight to SLC, right?

Here’s your Ski Play Live cheatsheet for this first weekend of Sundance to help with your budding paparazzi career. First, the list of who’s who and who might be in Utah and then the list of the buzzworthy films they are representing.

Who’s at Sundance 2024

Some of these names you may recognize, some will just be emerging. Pay close attention though because these sightings are as elusive as a white fox.

Saoirse Ronan, Phoebe-Rae Taylor, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Kirby, Michael Chernus, Courtney Taylor, Judith Light, Paapa Essiedu, Stephen Dillane, Saskia Reeves, Laura Linney, Steven Soderbergh, Jesse Eisenberg, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sue Bird, Lucy Lawless, André Holland, Debra Granik, Jay Ellis, Rashaad Newsome, Navid Khonsari, Sandra Rodriguez, Emma Stone, Margot Robbie, Kristen Stewart, Lily Gladstone, David Alan Grier, Demario Driver, Dominique Thorne, Jack Champion, Jay Ellis, Ji-Young Yoo, Justice Smith, Keir Gilchrist, Michelle Farrah Huang, Normani, Anna Boden, Carlos Lopez Estrada, Dawn Porter, Kobi Libii, Ryan Fleck, Datari Turner, Debby Wolfe, Debra Martin Chase, Jelani Johnson, Leah Smith, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Poppy Hanks, Sonja Warfield, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries, Shondrella Avery, Tom Lefler, Mädchen Amick, Clark Gregg, Theo Germaine, Simone Kirby, Walt Klink, Rob Morrow, Chris Sullivan, Amy Aniobi, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Sonja Warfield, Debby Wolfe, Chrissy Teigen, David Chang, Joel Kim Booster, Andra Day, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jennifer Grey, Ed Harris, Keyla Monterroso Mejia, Jeff Zimbalist, Bella Heathcote, Jason Schwartzman, Carol Kane, Alicia Silverstone, Kevin Connolly, Jason Momoa, Haylie Duff, Kieran Culkin, Will Ferrell, Josh Greenbaum, Pedro Pascal, Dominique Thorne, Ben Mendelsohn, Steven Yeun, Fred Durst, Lucy Liu, Glen Powell, Camila Cabello, Connie Britton, DEVO, Justice Smith, Jay Ellis, Retta, Robert Downey Jr., Christine Vachon, Jodie Foster, Mary Robinson, Christopher Nolan, Celine Song, Maite Alberdi, Pat Mitchell, June Squibb, Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey, Malcolm McDowell, Nicole Byer and Coral Peña.

Sundance 2024 Films with Buzz

When Robert Redford’s Park City Film Festival officially became the Sundance Film Festival in 1991, we saw the indie film revolution. Movies like Sex, Lies and Videotape, The Blair Witch and Winter’s Bone may never have found an audience were it not for the studio bidding wars that erupted in this small ski town.

Utah became ground zero for new filmmakers, new voices, and new discoveries. Even today, 40 years later, the industry looks to Sundance for its next breed of artists.

This year’s Sundance features less films than in the past few years (36 less than in 2020) as organizers attempt to create a more intimate atmosphere and allow more opportunities to see the chosen films during the 10-day. Here are 11 that have already stirred up some chatter.

‘A Different Man’

A still from A Different Man by Aaron Schimberg, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Sebastian Stan is aspiring actor Edward undergoes a radical medical procedure to drastically transform his appearance. But his new dream face quickly turns into a nightmare, as he loses out on the role he was born to play and becomes obsessed with reclaiming what was lost.

‘Freaky Tales’

Pedro Pascale stars in this storyweb where teen punks defend their turf against Nazi skinheads, a rap duo battles for hip-hop immortality, a weary henchman gets a shot at redemption, and an NBA All-Star settles the score. Basically another day in the Bay.

‘Girls State’

A still from Girls State by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo courtesy of Apple.

Teenage girls from wildly different backgrounds across Missouri navigate a week-long immersive experiment in American democracy, build a government from the ground up, and reimagine what it means to govern.

‘I Saw the TV Glow’

Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine appear in I Saw the TV Glow by Jane Schoenbrun, an official selection of the World Dramatic Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Teenager Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show — a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own.

‘Love Lies Bleeding’

Reclusive gym manager Lou falls hard for Jackie, an ambitious bodybuilder headed through town to Las Vegas in pursuit of her dream. But their love ignites violence, pulling them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family.

‘Love Me

Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun appear in Love Me by Sam Zuchero and Andy Zuchero, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. Photo by Justine Yeung.

The love story of a smart buoy and an orbiting satellite inhabited in different forms by Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun that spans a billion years and probes the mysteries of being and consciousness.

‘My Old Ass’

Maisy Stella and Aubrey Plaza appear in My Old Ass by Megan Park, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Shane Mahood.

The summer before college, bright-yet-irreverent Elliott comes face-to-face with her older self during a mushroom trip.

‘The Outrun’

Saoirse Ronan appears in The Outrun by Nora Finscheidt, an official selection of the Premieres Program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | Photo by The Outrun Film Ltd – Roy Imer.

Rona returns to the wild beauty of Scotland’s Orkney Islands — where she grew up — hoping to heal from drug and alcohol addiction.

‘A Real Pain’

Mismatched cousins David and Benji reunite for a tour through Poland to honor their beloved grandmother, a holocaust survivor.

‘Will & Harper’

Will Ferrell and Harper Steele appear in Will & Harper by Josh Greenbaum, an official selection of the Premieres Program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

When Will Ferrell finds out his close friend of 30 years is coming out as a trans woman, the two decide to embark on a cross-country road trip to process this new stage of their relationship.

40 Years of Sundance Films

reservoir dogs, a sundance film

We are a mere three days away from the 40th Edition of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The 2024 Sundance Film Festival opens this Thursday and runs through January 28, 2024, in person in Park City and Salt Lake City, with a selection of titles available online nationwide from January 25–28, 2024.

This year marks the 40th edition of the Festival, bringing together audiences in Utah and beyond to celebrate Sundance’s rich history of supporting engaging new stories and groundbreaking independent artists. You can still purchase single tickets at festival.sundance.org and register to watch online, anywhere in the world at festival.sundance.org/tickets/online (although I personally would wait to find out what the Fest darlings were before shelling out $25). But what about the showstoppers from past years? You can probably watch those for the price of a prorated Netflix subscription.

Therefore, as the excitement builds for what’s to come, Fest organizers wanted to take a fun look back at all of the 4000 films that have screened throughout the years by asking us to pick our top 10 all-time indie faves.


Today, the nonprofit Sundance Institute presents the results of a world-wide survey asking the filmmaking community to name their top ten feature films screened since Sundance began in 1985. Over 500 filmmakers, critics, and industry members shared their personal top-10 lists.

memento sundance film

40th Edition All Time Top Ten Sundance Films

10. Blood Simple (1985), Joel and Ethan Coen. This was the debut feature film of Joel and Ethan Coen and won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic.

9. Y tu mamá también (2002), Alfonso Cuarón

8. Boyhood (2014), Richard Linklater

7. Before Sunrise (1995), Richard Linklater

6. sex, lies and videotape (1989), Steven Soderbergh. The debut feature film of Steven Soderbergh and won the Audience Award: Dramatic.

5. Memento (2001), Christopher Nolan won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.

4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

3. Get Out (2017), Jordan Peele‘s debut feature film.

2. Reservoir Dogs (1992), Quentin Tarantino‘s debut feature film.

1. Whiplash (2014), Damien Chazelle. Won the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic and the Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic.

Here’s the list they chose from. You too can scroll through the Sundance FESTIVAL FEATURE FILM LIST and see the feature films from the first four decades.

Sex Lies and Videotape Sundance Film

My Personal Sundance Films

Let’s not kid anyone. There’s no way I could come anywhere near watching 4000 films but I can say that of the ones I’ve seen over the years, these would be my top ten. You know how I can choose? Because I rarely see a film twice and all of the ones below are worth a second and third watch.

Cinema Paradiso
Garden State
Winter’s Bone,
Reservoir Dogs,
Riding Giants,
The Descent,
The Grifters,

What are your favorite Sundance films? Tell us in the comments below!

The Slippery Slope of Constructive Ski Criticism

Ski lesson in Andorra, Spain

Let’s get the introductions out of the way. My name is Jill Adler. I live in Park City, Utah. I taught skiing at Deer Valley for 15 years before moving over to Park City Mountain Resort in 2011. Essentially, I have been teaching for 30 years and have my PSIA level III certification*. I would say the overwhelming majority of my lessons are successful but occasionally we hit a snag with our ski criticism and it almost always has to do with personality rather than the lesson itself; like the Russian ice-skating diva from Florida in 2020 (the first ski season post COVID) who shouted from across the busy bunny hill that I was a terrible instructor. I wouldn’t pick up her five-year-old who wasn’t wearing a mask and her nose was a faucet of snot. I told both of them that I would show her how to get up so she could do it on her own. The woman shouted obscenities at me, saying she didn’t pay a thousand dollars to do it herself. I said calmly and ironically, “Actually, you did. My job is to teach you how to do it yourself.” The lesson ended abruptly with me skiing away and telling her to have a nice day. Disagreement is one thing, verbal abuse is another.

Last season, I skied with a senior couple from New York. They told me they always take one private lesson at the beginning of each vacation. Despite saying they wanted to improve their technique, they had never skied with the same instructor twice. It was obvious after a couple of runs that the other instructors had given up trying to teach them anything and were tour guides instead. You go with the path of least resistance. Both of them could have learned so much if they were vulnerable enough to admit there was room for improvement. The woman fought me with every observation I made; insisting I didn’t know what I was talking about. Her husband, however, not only listened but activated. By the end of our morning together, he was skiing better than she! When he tipped me, the glare she gave him would have slashed his face a hundred times if looks were knives.

Which brings me to this season. I recently had an experience where I was taking a few runs with a friend and she kept complaining that she didn’t have the right skis for the conditions. This was not a lesson; just girls out for a fun afternoon. We had just finished a run off the top of the hill and, to be honest, it’s the best snow on the mountain right now. Normally, I keep my instructor hat off when I’m not in a lesson. I get that no one wants to feel like someone is watching them. But she was so upset at herself and self conscious. She said she had almost “yardsaled (that means crashed and lost all of your gear on the run) eight times.” She was struggling (physically and emotionally) and wanted to leave. She didn’t ask for help but it seemed like a waste to have gotten all the way to the top where it was good only to want to leave. Granted, she had a pair of race skis more suited for icy groomers than moguls, but her main issue was not the skis.

Often people who haven’t had a ski lesson in a while- years perhaps or since they were a kid- forget about certain things they need to do when skiing; like looking ahead instead of at their feet, or pressuring their downhill ski instead of leaning uphill, or, in this case, not using your ski poles in the bumps. She wasn’t my student but when someone isn’t being safe or having fun, I try to offer a pointer for all our sakes. I didn’t want to leave and I didn’t want her ending her day feeling frustrated. When she started using her poles, she instantly found a groove. What was odd, however, was that instead of being thankful, she got defensive and proclaimed again that it was her skis, that she had been skiing since she was 2 so she knew what she was doing, and that her skis are terrible in these conditions. I listened and offered to swap skis so she could repeat the run and regain confidence.

I could tell she was way more comfortable on my skis- AND SHE USED HER POLES. Here’s the rub- I had no trouble making turns in the bumps on her skis. Granted, her skis are much stiffer than mine but if you can steer, bend a ski, plant your poles, etc. you can ski the ones she was on. I told her it wasn’t the ski; it’s stiff but not incapable, but what she heard was, “any good skier can ski any ski”. She felt insulted. I felt awful that I had hurt her feelings. Those weren’t my words. I only wanted to help her to have fun and not feel like she was surviving a run but really skiing it. Not to mention that I would never say a good skier can ski any ski. It’s just not true for a variety of reasons.

I tried to tell her that I see what she can’t. I wasn’t saying she doesn’t know how to ski. It was my way of saying all of us can benefit from an extra set of eyes. Trust me, I’ve eaten my own share of humble pie when skiing in clinics, ripping around with pros or with Rachael Hodson. 😉 I even had one assh*le Park City ski instructor tell me in a training clinic that I couldn’t call myself a professional unless I widen my stance. Not quite the way to effectively communicate feedback but he was Austrian.

Finding the Right Track With Ski Criticsm

Whether you’re a seasoned skier or just making pizzas on the bunny hill for the first time, we’ve all been on the receiving end of someone “just trying to help.” While it might be tempting to blame the skis or dismiss the advice, let’s explore how to gracefully accept constructive feedback and turn those tricky bumps into a smoother ride.

🏔️ Tip #1: Embrace the Learning Curve

Skiing is a dynamic sport that constantly challenges us to improve. Remember, even the most skilled skiers constantly tweak their technique. Embracing the learning curve can make every run an opportunity for growth. When your instructor shares some insights, don’t see it as a negative but as a chance to enhance your skills and make your next run even more awesome.

⛷️ Tip #2: Shift Your Perspective Around Ski Criticism

It’s easy to get defensive when feedback comes our way. We’ve been programmed as kids to tell our parents to eff off when they get on our case but this isn’t that. Instead of seeing pointers as criticism, shift your perspective to view it as valuable guidance. Ski instructors are there to help you enjoy the sport to the fullest. In one day, they can get you to a place in your skiing that might take years to do on your own. Consider their advice as a friendly tip from someone who’s been down the mountain a few times – unlike some unhealthy parenting, they want to help, not hurt.

❄️ Tip #3: Open Communication Channels

If you’re unclear about the feedback, speak up. Ask questions. You can’t pick up what I’m putting down if you’re at a different table. Effective communication ensures that you and your instructor understand each other. Ask for clarification on specific techniques or why certain adjustments are recommended. Understanding the “why” behind the advice can make it easier to implement. Just pay attention to whether you’re asking “why” to challenge authority or to better understand the concepts and exercises. A kid asking why he has to go to bed at 9 is not the same as him asking the teacher to explain a math problem.

🎿 Tip #4: Try Before You Deny

When your instructor suggests a change, give it a go before dismissing it. What’s it going to hurt? Like swapping skis with a friend, sometimes experiencing the difference firsthand is the best way to understand the benefits of a particular movement. Remember, trying new things is what keeps things fresh and evolving.

⛰️ Tip #5: Trust Your Instructor

Ski instructors are trained professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience (unless your kids have a J1)*. Trust that they have your best interests at heart. It’s not about judging your ability; it’s about elevating your day, week, or life. A little trust can go a long way in transforming your skiing experience.

🌨️ Conclusion: Carving a Path to Improvement

Next time you find yourself on the receiving end of some well-meaning advice from a ski instructor, keep these tips in mind. Embrace the learning process, shift your perspective, communicate openly, give it a try, and most importantly, trust that your instructor is your friend not a narcissistic parent or significant other. We have nothing to gain by making you feel bad. If you listen with an open mind and heart, you’ll be punching through snow with newfound confidence in no time.

*Level I certification is meant to affirm that the instructor is qualified to teach beginner/novice guests, primarily on beginner/novice terrain (typically identified as “green”). Level II certification generally means that the instructor is qualified to teach through the intermediate zone, in which students are primarily on intermediate (blue) and some green terrain. Level III certification generally means that the instructor is qualified to teach ALL students and on expert (black) terrain.

*J1 is a foreign worker on a student visa brought in to fill jobs at a US ski resort. J1s usually have no experience so they work with kids’ group lessons.

Best Spring Ski Festivals in the West

spring ski festival pond skimming

It’s nearly March. The snowiest month of the ski season is only days away and places like Snowbird and Mammoth have already reached record-breaking base depths with no end to the powder days for the near future. While those who hate winter lament; those of us who live for sliding are doing the mother of all dances. And this spring will be the ultimate culmination of the best ski season since 1995. You can bet the coming festivals that celebrate spring skiing and shenanigans will rage from the energy this winter has stoked.

Spring skiing means less base layers, more sunlight, longer afternoons for apres. It’s the time for locals and guests to celebrate an epic ski season with festivals, events, tailgating parties, and pond skimming. How can you get in on the action? Check out our list of top spots to ring in the spring.

Tahoe Snowfest, Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe SNOWFEST is one of the largest winter mountain festivals on the west coast. The annual 10-day event celebrates the best of North Lake Tahoe from ski town nightlife to outdoor family-friendly events. Get ready to party March 2-12 with parades, laser show and fireworks, pancake breakfasts, live music and concerts, bar parties, ski races, dog and pet events, ice carving, a polar bear swim and much more. 

Subaru Winterfest, Snowbird and Woodward

The concert and mountain lifestyle tour is a winter playground for music fans, skiers, snowboarders, and dog lovers alike. It gives you an excuse (do you really need one?) to get outside and gather with fellow winter lovers as you celebrate the move towards spring and warmer days with live music, giveaways and vendor booths. The tour visits Woodward, Park City, first on March 18 with headliner the Spazmatics and then moves to Snowbird March 24-26 and music from SunSquabi and Simba Sax.

Spring Gruv, Park City/Canyons

Park City Mountain’s annual spans a whopping 16 days, starting with Oakley Week on March 23 and culminating with a 100-foot pond skim on April 8. Anyone can enter and there are prizes for the biggest splash, best costume, and best overall skim, plus tons of raffles and giveaways. There’s live music every afternoon and most evenings along with jugglers, magicians, s’mores and backyard games.

Rendezvous Spring Festival, Jackson Hole

The Jackson Hole Rendezvous Spring Ski Festival is a two-day music festival on March 31 – April 1, 2023, that starts in downtown on Friday night but finishes in Teton Village on Saturday afternoon. Chart-toppers The Revivalists will headline with ZZ Ward and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Then Yellowstone crooner Ryan Bingham headlines alongside Elle King plus Futurebirds and Dumpstaphunk. Tickets are free but you have to reserve on Eventbrite and it’s first come-first serve.

Bonus, skiers and snowboarders who own a valid 2022-23 winter resort season pass ANYWHERE in the world who travel to Jackson Hole during Rendezvous Fest can receive a 50% discount on lift tickets!

Altitunes, Big White

Canada’s biggest mountain music festival is back for two days of music, skiing, and an array of outdoor activities with your crew, March 31-April 1. The tunes are curated for a fun blend of folk, pop & alt- rock, and a full day of upbeat dance music on Saturday.

WinterWonderGrass, Steamboat & Palisades

Bluegrass, jamgrass and roots music and beer. What more could you want? Oh, yeah, great skiing. This pair of three-day festivals will be held in Colorado and California, March 3-5 and March 31- April 2, respectively. Headliners in Steamboat – Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon and Paul Gauten and more will perform on four stages, over three days.

WWG part 2 will take place at Palisades Tahoe on March 31-April 2, with Trampled By Turtles, Greensky Bluegrass and Marcus King topping the bill.

Day passes start at $109 and include three hours of complimentary beer and spiked seltzer tastings.

World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler

Hands down the most off-the-hook spring ski festival in North America. Known to locals as WSSF, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival combines spring energy with a week of non-stop events and action on and off the slopes. Ski and snowboard competitions like Big Air and Slush Cup, music, art, photography, action filmmaking and exciting nightlife will happen April 10-16.


The country’s top multi-multisport event to benefit of Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation will have racers gearing up May 13 in Bend, Ore. Anyone can enter as individuals, pairs, or teams at PPPBend.com.

Since 1976 the event which features ski (alpine and nordic), bike, run, canoe/kayak, sprint legs annually attracts thousands of competitors from throughout the Northwest and beyond, and stretches from the slopes of Mt. Bachelor to the finish line in Bend’s Old Mill District.

Whether you are a less-competitive racer who wants to join a team for fun, have an active day with friends or family, or an elite multi-sport athlete, the SELCO PPP has a place for you.