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Sundance Film Festival 2017: The Ultimate Party Guide

Variety logo Variety 1/18/2017 Mannie Holmes
© Provided by Variety

The annual trek to Park City, Utah has already begun for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, which runs Jan. 19 until Jan. 29. Peter Dinklage, Larry Wilmore, and Gael Garcia Bernal are among those named to the juries in this year’s competition. The awards will be handed out on Jan. 28 in a ceremony hosted by “The Daily Show” alum Jessica Williams.

In between all of the prizes and premieres, stars and film aficionados endure the cold temperatures with help from the city’s pop-up party scene, featuring swag, drinks and exclusive dinners.

Thursday, Jan. 19

Après Ski Festival Kick-off Rooftop Party – 4 to 8 p.m.

The lodge is open to members as well as other invited press and industry execs for a fun Apres Ski party at the Main Street lodge, sponsored by a new networking app called Plexus. Specialty cocktails will be provided by High West Distillery.

An Artist at the Table – 8 p.m.

The annual benefit kicks off the first day of the festival with director Jeff Orlowski set as keynote speaker. The private cocktail reception and dinner follows the premiere of 45th Vice President Al Gore‘s “An Inconvenient Sequel” at the Eccles Theatre.

Friday, Jan. 20

Variety Studio

The Variety Studio, presented by Orville Redenbacher’s, hosts a series of Sundance filmmaker and talent interviews. Al Gore, Peter Dinklage, Shirley Maclaine, Rooney Mara, Elizabeth Olsen, Keanu Reeves, and more to attend. The studio runs through Jan. 23.

Village at the Lift

AT&T takes over this year’s village that runs from Jan. 20-22, showcasing DIRECTV in the Cabin, AUDIENCE in the Café and Jeff Vespa’s WireImage Studio. This year’s winter escape from the cold features beverages and light fare from notable Japanese restaurant Nobu, along with high-speed internet.

The IMDb Studio & Filmmaker Discovery Lounge – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kevin Smith hosts four days of celebrity video interviews from Jan. 20-23 with performers, writers and filmmakers at The Prewitt Gallery, while industry professionals and talent alike can stop by to relax and learn more about IMDb, IMDbPro, Withoutabox (film festival submissions software) and Amazon Video Direct. Invite only.

Shabbat Dinner & Lounge – 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Shabbat Tent returns to the Festival with its very Shabbat lounge. In addition to hosting its annual home-cooked dinner with challah, wine, and traditional cuisine, the after-party features desserts and a musical Havdallah. The event takes place at the Caledonian from Jan. 20-21.

“Person to Person” After-Party – 10 p.m.

J. Crew, Vulture, and New York Magazine host the Person to Person fete at Rock & Reilly’s with Abbi Jacobson and more expected.

Ingrid Goes West” After-Party – 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Star Thrower Entertainment and 141 Entertainment celebrate with director Matt Spicer and star Aubrey Plaza over drinks at the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge on 364 Main Street.

Tao Park City – 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The stars bring a little Hollywood with them with the annual Tao Park City nightclub pop- up, presented by Tequila Don Julio. The weekend late-night stop will include mixed drinks and top DJ sets. A surprise performance or two also keeps the early morning party going at this star-studded club scene.

Saturday, Jan. 21

Canon Creative Studio – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The invite-only lounge space features conversations with cinematographers and filmmakers and daily workshops exploring the technical capabilities of Canon’s cinema cameras. At the IMDbPro portrait studio, guests can also take the moment to instantly upload their newly-taken headshots to their Pro profiles at 592 Main Street.

UCLA TFT’s Annual Sundance Reception – noon to 2 p.m.

Stars such as Tim Robbins and Molly Shannon stop by for the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s yearly Utah gathering.

The IndieWire Filmmaker Party Presented By Coca-Cola And Regal Films – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Mix and mingle with Coca-Cola, Regal, Red and film industry execs and editors at Indiewire over a bottle of Coke! The shindig is held at Rock & Reilly’s.

NYLON X Dream Hollywood Apres Ski – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Don’t forget your skis! NYLON and Dream Hotels unite once again for the 4th annual Aprés Ski party. Past festival talent at the shindig has included James Franco and The Jonas Brothers.

BMW & Golf Digest Studios Present “The Getaway” Premiere Party – 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by Kate Upton and Justin Verlander at Rock & Reilly’s, the stars participate in a Q&A about their new video series, “The Getaway.”

Discovery Channel’s “Rancher Farmer Fisherman” Cocktail Reception – 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Discovery Channel celebrates the world premiere of the film with an announcement of the second Sundance Institute/Discovery Impact Fellow at Wahso. The night also recognizes Sundance’s new program dedicated to conversations and films about environmental change and conservation, The New Climate.

“Roxanne, Roxxanne” Premiere Party – 6:30 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m.

Chante Adams, Nia Long, and Mahershala Ali join executive producer Roxanne Shante for celebration of the ’80s MC’s biopic at the Acura Studio.

“BITCH” Cocktail Reception – 7 p.m to 10 p.m.

Director Marianna Palka joins stars Jason Ritter and Jaime King for cocktails during an exclusive evening at the Plexus Lodge.

“Mudbound” After-Party – 9 p.m. to midnight

Macro and Zeal toast to the film’s Sundance arrival with stars from the film Mary J. Blige, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke and Garrett Hedlund at the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge.

XYZ Films Cocktail Party – 9 p.m.

The Kia Supper Suite dining experience features “Bushwick” directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion along with Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow; “Kuso” director Flying Lotus in addition to star Hannibal Buress; as well as “XX” directors Roxanne Benjamin and Sofia Carrillo with star Melanie Lynskey. Presented by Maestro Dobel Tequila, the gourmet dinner party is prepared by chef John Murcko at his newly opened restaurant, Firewood.

WGN America and John Legend’s Sundance Party – 9:30 p.m.

Underground” executive producer John Legend and stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aldis Hodge host a fete in celebration of the highly anticipated second season of the WGN America series. The exclusive event, held at Riverhorse, also includes a “Clips and Conversation” panel, in partnership with the Blackhouse Foundation, an Institute Associate of Sundance.

TIDAL and Vulture Party – 11 p.m.

An exclusive DJ set is set to rock the house at Rock & Reilly’s for this late-night bash.

Sunday, Jan. 22

“Colossal” and “Landline” Private Brunch Reception – noon

The invite-only fete gathers A-list talent from Route One Entertainment films “Colossal” and “Landline.” Stars include Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Jay Duplass, and Finn Wittrock.

Amazon Video Direct Filmmaker Panel – 4 p.m.

Amazon Video Direct will host a panel in The IMDb Studio featuring filmmakers who have found success self-distributing with the online service. Moderated by Kevin Smith, the panel features filmmakers Justin Doescher (“The Break In”), Danishka Esterhazy (“Black Field”), Micky Meyer (JASH) and Danny Fisher (FilmRise).

“To The Bone” After-Party – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Mockingbird Pictures, Sparkhouse Media, and Ambi Media Group celebrate the film. Celebrities holding court at the reception are set to include stars Keanu Reeves and Lily Collins.

A Cocktail Evening To Champion Change – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Geena Davis and the Bentonville Film Festival host a panel discussing women and diverse voices in media with industry notables, including Jill Soloway and Michaela Watkins, at Rock & Reilly’s.

Raise Your Glass To Cinematography – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Canon returns to its fifth annual celebration, toasting festival crew members at an invite-only cocktail party.

TCC Spotlight Awards – 7 p.m.

The dinner honors Connie Britton, Jay Duplass, Laura Prepon, Barbara Kopple, Kelly Preston, and more notable talent at the Firewood.

Cocktail Reception for Mosaic – 9 p.m. to midnight

Mosaic’s private evening reception gives kudos to its films during the festival. The talent management firm reps stars including January Jones, Kate Mara, and Will Ferrell.

“Columbus” Cocktail Party – 11 p.m.

Following the screening of the film, director Kogonada toasts with stars Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Michelle Forbes, Rory Culkin, and John Cho over dinner at the Firewood.

“Lemon” After-Party – 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Burn Later Films give kudos to director Janicza Bravo and stars Michael Cera and Judy Greer for their film “Lemon” at a late-night gathering inside the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge.

Monday, Jan. 23

“Brigsby Bear” Cocktail Reception – 5:30 p.m.

Filmmaker Dave McCary and stars Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Andy Samberg, Greg Kinnear, Jane Adams, Matt Walsh, and Kyle Mooney kick off the night with a reception in celebration of their film at the Firewood.

The IMDb STARmeter Award Ceremony & The Amazon Video Direct Filmmaker Awards – 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.

IMDb and Amazon Video Direct celebrate the night by honoring talent and filmmakers. This year’s winners have yet to be announced, but past recipients include Brie Larson, Felicity Jones, and Miles Teller.

Cocktail Reception for APA Agency – 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The talent agency acknowledges its clientele at this invite-only gathering.

Col Needham’s Private 50th Birthday Party – 8 to 10 p.m.

IMDb and Amazon Video Direct host an invite-only birthday party for Col Needham, IMDb’s Founder and CEO, at The IMDb Studio on Main Street.

“Sidney Hall” Dinner – 9:30 p.m.

The Firewood hosts a cast dinner with Elle Fanning, Michelle Monaghan, Blake Jenner, Logan Lerman, Christina Brucato, Margaret Qualley, Kyle Chandler, Tim Blake Nelson, and Nathan Lane.

“Crown Heights” After-Party – 11 p.m.

Stars Bill Camp, Nestor Carbonell, and Keith Stanfield gather in celebration of the drama.

“Marjorie Prime” Premiere Party – 9-11 p.m.

Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins, and Geena Davis toast the new sci-fi film at the Acura Studio.

Tuesday, Jan. 24

BMI Roundtable “Music & Film: The Creative Process” – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The 19th annual composer and director roundtable is held at Festival Base Camp. Presented by Canada Goose, the conversation centers around the role of music in film, what makes a great composer and director relationship and the ingredients to making a successful film score.

Facebook Inc (FB, Oculus and Instagram) – 7 p.m.

Facebook Inc (FB, Oculus and Instagram) hosts a reception for the creator community to highlight the company’s commitment in storytelling across all platforms. The invite-only event holds VR demos for talent and influencers at the Oculus House on Main Street.

“The Last Word” Premiere Party – 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Guests clink glasses with Shirley Maclaine and Anne Heche at the Acura Studio after the film’s premiere.

Wednesday, Jan. 25

BMI’s 15th annual Snowball – 8 p.m.

A lineup of BMI singers and songwriters headline the annual gala at Festival Base Camp. Talent includes Angela McCluskey, Rachel Crow, the Hearings and more.

“Fun Mom Dinner” Premiere Party – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Stars Adam Scott and Molly Shannon welcome the arrival of their film “Fun Mom Dinner” with producer Paul Rudd at the Acura Studio.


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