Located only 63 miles from most of Weber State housing is Park City, Utah. One of the great yearly attractions in Park City, Utah is the Sundance Film Festival. Every January this 10 day event is the most attended independent film showcase in the USA showing more than 100 films to over 40,000 people. The festival is attended by celebrities, movie industry executives and lucky members of the general public who are able to purchase tickets.
Originally chaired by Robert Redford, the first incarnation of the Sundance Film Festival took place in Salt Lake City in 1978 and under the name “Utah/US Film Festival.” Among the films shown at this first festival were A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marlon Brando and Deliverance starring Burt Reynolds. The festival moved to Park City in 1981 and was renamed the Sundance Film Festival in 1991 after The Sundance Kid, a character famously portrayed by Robert Redford in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969.
TRAVEL A SHORT DISTANCE FROM WEBER STATE HOUSING
TO SEE INDEPENDENT FILMS
The Sundance Film Festival has been the vehicle to launch many now famous independent directors to prominence. Notable independent directors receiving their start at Sundance include Quentin Tarantino with his movie Reservoir Dogs in 1992 and Kevin Smith for his movie Clerks in 1994. In recent years many other independent films showcased at the Sundance Film Festival have gone on to mainstream success including Whiplash in 2014 which was subsequently nominated for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons) at the Academy Awards.
The Sundance Film Festival is one of many attractions that draw tourism to Park City adding by some estimates $80,000,000 to the local economy annually. Tourism, including skiing and other outdoor activities has been the mainstay of the Park City economy since the 1990s. Prior to this, mining was the main economic force in the area. But it is tourism that now makes commercial real estate in Park City such a hot commodity.