PARK CITY 2002: Back to Business; Park City in 2002
by Maud Kersnowski
(indieWIRE/ 01.11.02) -- Limited parking, an online film guide and new press screening venues are just a few of the changes that Sundance regulars will encounter as they arrive in Park City this week.
This year also features an expansion of the Sundance Online Resource Center (SORC). While a printed festival catalog will be released at noon today, the main source concerning films, screenings, filmmakers and their representatives will be posted online at sundanceonlineresourcecenter.com. For those who don't want to haul their laptop around in the snow, the SORC can be accessed at the Digital Center located on the lower level of the Main Street Mall (333 Main Street).
Two additional press screening rooms are also new this year: The Alley and The Garage. The Alley can be found around the corner from the Digital Center at Swede Alley (one block east of Main) and Fourth Street. The Garage is located on the corner of Woodside Avenue and 12th Street (south of the Library and one block west of Park Avenue). The new venues were created to compensate for the loss of the Holiday Theater, currently under renovation. Screenings will also take place in Salt Lake City, but the festival will offer no transportation between Salt Lake City venues and Park City.
The best bet for getting around town will again be the free shuttle service. Parking this year is even tighter than usual because of the Olympics, and while the same number of legal spaces are available as last year, many of the posted no-parking spots festivalgoers have used in the past are filled with Olympic media equipment. Besides the small amount of spots in the paid underground lot, there is virtually no parking at Shadow Ridge.
There will be an increase in security this year, but most festival attendees won't notice much of a difference outside of having their IDs and credentials checked more frequently. Sundance consulted with local, state and federal law enforcement, Olympics staff and a private firm about security concerns, and all volunteers and theater staff have undergone special training for emergencies, including evacuations in case of bomb threats. "We're just being cautious and making sure that somebody who's not associated with the festival isn't where they're not supposed to be," explained Sundance spokesperson RJ Millard. "I don't think anybody wants us to be doing metal detectors or bag searches at the door."
Partly for security reasons and partly to avoid paper congestion, new restrictions are also being placed on mailbox facilities. General fliers, posters and postcards can no longer be put in every box, but they can be left on a table in the press box. Packages, sealed envelopes and party invites will not be accepted. PR firms have been told to leave notes in mailboxes saying that invitations and swag can be picked up at their office. "Some of this is a result of security and some of it is because we'd rather not be responsible for people receiving their invitations," Millard said. A number of companies sent out paper invites before Sundance, while others have opted for electronic communication. "A lot of people just realized they could send out invitations through email," said PR firm mPRm's Mark Pogachefsky.
A number of other festivals will take place in the Park City area this January. Slamdance has again taken up residence at the Silvermine, which can be accessed via a $3 shuttle service at the Treasure Mountain Inn on Main Street. NoDance, Tromadance, SlamDunk, DigiDance Online and The Lost Film Festival will also be presenting their own brands of independent film.
Those looking to recharge from the onslaught of screenings and parties have several options this year. The New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development will be handing out New York bagels, coffee and hot cider from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. at 514 Main Street. The invitation only Reebok Retreat, located five minutes from Main Street, offers a collection of wellness experts that will massage, exercise and style those in need. Reservations are suggested but not required. "We wanted to bring something that was lacking in past years to the festival," explained Reebok spokesperson Kimberly Stirdivant. "This is a fitness and wellness house, not a place to party."
Weather reports are calling for highs in the low- to mid-30s throughout the weekend, with no snow in sight.