The Sundance Film Festival – U.S.A.

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Packed with many well-known celebrities and future stars, the Sundance Film Festival is an American film festival that takes place annually in Utah. It is the largest independent cinema festival in the United States. Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, as well as at the Sundance Resort, the festival is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. The festival comprises competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature-length films and short films, and a group of out-of-competition sections, including NEXT, New Frontier, Spotlight, and Park City At Midnight.

It began in August 1978, as the “Utah/US Film Festival” with the goal being to showcase only American-made films, highlight the potential of independent film, and to increase visibility for filmmaking in Utah. The main focus of the event was to conduct a competition for independent American films, present filmmaker panel discussions, and highlight the work of regional filmmakers who worked outside the Hollywood system.

Many famous independent filmmakers received their big break at Sundance, including Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Todd Field, Steve James, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky, James Wan, Edward Burns, and Jim Jarmusch. Such notable films to first be introduced at the festival includes Saw, Garden State, Super Troopers, The Blair Witch Project, Reservoir Dogs, Little Miss Sunshine, Clerks, Thank You for Smoking, The Brothers McMullen, and Napoleon Dynamite.

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