There are three Sundance festivals.
One of them is all about deal-making: film buyers and sellers will be meeting at 3 am in condos starting tomorrow, negotiating distribution deals.
The second Sundance is social and brand-driven. Big brands spend hundreds of thousands of dollars setting up lounges, parties, events and gifting suites to promote their products and build their profiles. I have friends who do nothing but collect invitations to these events; they are RSVP commandos, and believe that those with the most swag win.
Of course the third Sundance is all about the movies. Brilliant and interesting films and filmmakers from all around the world convene in Park City for the next ten days. Sundance movie audiences are smart, sensitive and appreciative, as is the army of blue-jacketed volunteers, who make the Festival run smoothly.
Beginning tonight, with the first screenings, I’ll be doing Sundance #3.
Last night, though, we went on a tour of Sundance Lounges in-the-making. I was joined by Kellie Koppel, host of It’s So LA, who will be on-camera hosting the Google Hangout events this week, and Eric Ethan, founder of Style Utah. Huge trucks were still unloading furniture and set dressing on Main Street; paint was drying in nearly-done swag-rooms.
My vote for best lounge? Airbnb, which feels low-key, easy, fun, and the perfect place to have a hot chocolate on a cold Utah afternoon.