Sundance Film Festival to kick off this week


The excitement for movies is at its annual peak during the early parts of the year, from Oscar nominations gearing up for the 85th Academy Awards Ceremony to other ceremonies that honor film all over the country.

The Sundance Film Festival is one of the largest commemorations of film in the United States, with more than 45,000 attendees last year. The festival honors independent films, many of which have gone on to have success outside of the festival. The festival takes place in four different Utah cities throughout a week in the middle of January, with main presentations in Park City, as well as other events in Salt Lake City, Ogden and the festival’s namesake — the Sundance Resort.

Submissions for the Sundance Film Festival have been steadily increasing over the years, reaching an unprecedented 12,000 independent films in 2012. John Cooper, the director of the festival, believes the amount of quality submissions shows the growing industry of independent films.

“It says that independent film is thriving,” Cooper said in a news release. “It’s certainly exciting for us to receive 12,000 submissions this year for the first time ever, but more than that, we were really pleased by the overall quality of the films submitted to us. Each year the quality of independent film seems to rise, and we’re chalking that up to this idea of a vital independent film community.”

The quality of some of the films have reached Oscar-worthy attention over the past several years, including 13 films for the upcoming Academy Awards. One such film, titled “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” has received a nomination for Best Motion Picture at the upcoming Academy Awards as well as other awards. This and other films have increased the prestige of the festival.

“The recent history with those films having success at the Festival and beyond makes us very happy,” Trevor Groth, the director of programming for the festival, said in a news release. “Each film is selected on its own merit, regardless of whether it’s been supported by our labs or other programs.”

The success of this and other independent films has shown to Cooper and Groth the demand for innovative types of film among the U.S. moviegoers.

“We feel that there’s great potential for this year’s films to connect with audiences at the festival and long after,” Cooper said. “Audiences for independent film are expanding and becoming more adventurous. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” showed that there’s an audience out there that’s up for more of a challenge.”

The festival officially begins on Thursday, Jan. 17, and concludes on Monday, Jan. 28, with the Best of Fest screenings, showing the best films of the festival. Well-known actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, star of the recent films Premium Rush and Looper,” will be hosting the awards ceremony for the festival. And just like in recent years, it can be expected that several of the films will have a future beyond Sundance.

Tickets for the festival are still available on the, and start at $15 per ticket.

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