Every summer for the past 19 years the Sundance Institute has presented a summer film series in Utah. It's a wonderful opportunity for residents to access exceptional independent films at a great price (free). Admittedly, we are quite spoiled here in this little mountain town and it's, perhaps, unsurprising that we may take for granted how technologically advanced Sundance programming really is. Well, this weekend we'll get to see just how far the Institute is willing to go to share the love for independent film.
On Friday, July 29 the Institute will present its first-ever outdoor 3D screening as part of the Sundance Summer Film Series. And I can't think of a better film for this landmark event than the one selected, Under the Electric Sky (2014), a documentary about the legendary EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) music festival. This year marks EDC's 20th anniversary and, rather than having to travel to Las Vegas or L.A. to experience this incredible music festival, you can simply pack a picnic and spread out a blanket at City Park to immerse yourself in the lights, colors, and sounds that surround festivalgoers during EDC's few crazy, beautiful days--as well as get a unique glimpse into what it takes to put together such a massive event.
According to Holden Payne, the Director of Technical Exhibition and Production, this screening is a huge milestone. "I guess I brought it on myself by suggesting we show a film in 3D outdoors and I'll be nervous about it till the minute we begin," he said. "But we always want to take things to a new level and it's going to be a great." Payne and his crew are actually installing a full Dolby 3D system, typically reserved for a multiplex movie theater. It's nearly $250,000 worth of equipment, but Payne guarantees it's worth it for the best possible image and sound quality. The Redstone 8 Cinemas is contributing its support by lending out 500 pairs of 3D glasses for the screening. Whether or not ambient light from the city will affect the picture remains to be seen, regardless, the movie will start rolling promptly at dusk.
"There's no better setting than outside in the beautiful mountain environment for people to see these films," said Kara Cody, Sundance's senior manager of Utah programming. "What really sets the Sundance Institute apart is exactly this commitment to quality production as well as the best of programming."
The next and final Sundance Summer Film Series screening in City Park for this summer will be held in collaboration with the Park City Kimball Arts Festival on August 12. The movie selected for that evening is Sonita (2016), a film highlighting the immense power of the arts to affect change and winner of this year's Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the upcoming screenings in the Sundance Summer Film Series, happening down in Salt Lake City at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheater. See you at the movies!