I’ve long been of the mindset that there’s no reason to go to Sundance unless you have a movie there. I haven’t been since Go debuted there in 1999. I had a great time, but it was a zoo, and my threshold for tolerating crowds, schwag and auteur-theorists drops considerably when wearing a parka.
But the truth is, most of the people going to Sundance aren’t filmmakers at all. They’re simply people who love films, particularly the kind that never see wide release. (You know, the ones that show up on critics’ top ten lists, yet you’ve never heard of.) There are worse places to spend a long weekend — what with the skiing and the dozens upon dozens of excellent films waiting to be discovered. So if you have the interest and means, why not come? Crash on the floor of someone’s motel room. Maybe you’ll meet that special someone who will change your life. Or convince you never to sleep with a singer/songwriter/gaffer.
Now that I’ve possibly convinced you to come, the natural follow-up question: Hey John, could you slide me some tickets?
Um, no. Sorry. In fact, the producers and I are actively scrambling to get tickets ourselves, because the festival allotment is limited.
Advance ticket sales begin January 5th, so the clock is ticking. They’ve recently released a brochure (.pdf, 5.6Mb) describing all of the films in the festival. If you’re signing up for a range of movies and showtimes — the omakase menu, if you will — the odds of getting some good tickets is pretty high. But if you’re trying to get tickets for one specific show, that’s where it gets tougher.
For The Nines, the premiere will be Sunday, January 21st, at 9:30 p.m. at Eccles. It’s a big theatre, but it’s almost certain to sell out. So if you want to come to it, definitely get tickets through the website. Basically, you pay $5 to reserve a place in line — or more specifically, a lottery ticket for your place in line. On January 5th, you get an email with a time that you can sign in to purchase your tickets. A pain in the ass? Absolutely. But it’s the best way to make sure you get a seat.
There are three other screenings of The Nines that week. I’ll be doing a Q&A after the premiere (along with the cast and some department heads), and also after the Monday morning and Tuesday night screenings.
I previously linked to a helpful guide for attending Sundance, but no doubt many readers will have their own recommendations. So, share away.