SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: 31 YEARS STRONG

By Lauren Clarke­Bennett, Taylor Bennett & Nissa Alloy

Celebs flock to the festival for the latest Indie Films

From day one, the prestigious Sundance Film Festival 2015, with all the excitement was deafening as the celebrities, VIPs and press filled the streets of Park City, Utah heralding in its 31st year. From its humble beginnings the iconic Robert Redford’s vision led to a film festival where independent filmmakers could come together and show their projects to gain each other’s support. Where once these underfunded films rarely made it to a large audience, now with cable and the internet, the sky’s the limit for distribution. And this year some of the most talented filmmakers and actors from around the globe showcased and premiered their movies including: ‘Grandma’ with Lily Tomlin and Sam Elliot, ‘Last Days in the Dessert’ with Ewan McGregor, ‘I Am Michael’ with James Franco and Emma Roberts.

Since its inception Sundance and the business of Indie films has exploded, adding to its roster numerous star studded red carpets,premier parties, music events, art installations and panels that this year included Ewan McGregor interviewed at the Chase Sapphire/Oculus Lounge. And adding to the frenzy were independent marketing companies that flocked to the area taking advantage of the innumerable celebrities and press, to brand their products and services.

And what better place to kick off the marketing forage than the Village At The Lift’s, Columbia Lounge, where top celebs including James Franco, Jack Black, Kristen Wiig, Alec Baldwin and Ethan Hawke came in from the cold and their busy schedules to be introduce to the hottest down jackets of the season that kept them warm on and off the slopes.

The Independent Filmmaker’s Lounge saw their fifth successful year at Sundance and offered a hideaway for those who wanted to take a break from viewing and promoting the myriad of stellar films. The lounge’s exceptional entertainment and gifting, along with their yummy treats and spirits was not to be missed. Celebrities of all talents perused their way through the maze of great products and services that included Olympia luggage, Nuvsio Purifying Mineral Masks, JJ Bolda Necklace Designs, Layfin Organic Skincare, PCA Skin Refine, Hatch Family Chocolates, Ruby Roxanne Design arm wear, Nomadic State of Mind footwear, Ash Parker clothing and scarves, Luana Naturals, Vance Family Soy Candles, a week stay at The Villa on Coral Island and magnificent hand­made Gem Mountain Studios jewelry of Beverly Hills.

The EcoLuxe Lounge stood out amongst the pack as VIPs and celebrities including RJ Mitte, Josh Hamilton, Missi Pyle and Tig Nataro filled Ciscero’s restaurant located on Main Street. The lounge created yet another venue to celebrate film and also provide an escape from the continuous motion of the festival. In addition to providing the attendees with spirits, the food service which included a breakfast buffet with après­ski pizza and pasta along with gourmet cheese provided by Sartori, satiated the guests. The lounge also welcomed visitors to experience make­up touch­ups by J.Andre with her all natural sponges and brushes and seated chair massages were heaven. In addition gluten­free cocktails from Tito’s Vodka, Stella Artois & Cidre and a cup of joe was served, which added to the perfect ambience stoked by live musical performances. Celebs were gifted luxury vacations to the Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort in Cancun, Pakems Shoes, Barefoot Athletics Co, Roma Boots, BULA outerwear, HAI MP3 Flat Irons and Love Rodkin! Other sponsors included Modern Oats, Dahila’s Flowers, Canvas Creative, Kijani Banners and Rock Solid Studios.

In its 11th year, one of our favorite lounges is always the Music Lodge and it was packed with great gifts including Members Only jackets, Wewood watches and Curls haircare products. To add to the ambiance was their stellar parade of musical artists along with their welcoming atmosphere stocked with spirits, Bullettproof coffee, Lindt chocolate, Pistachios and the Oxygen bar for a little pick me up.

In the end connecting businesses with perspective buyers is a recipe for success as is connecting audiences with films. The Sundance Film Festival has proven to be a leader in showcasing some of the best movies in the world to discerning audiences from around the globe as well as a powerful magnet for brand marketing. This season as in previous years was proof of their success in both areas and shows that it will only continue to grow in the future.

For the Sundance Film Festival award winners and more info please go to: www.sundance.org.

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