Sundance 2024 Free Events, Parties, Panels and Celebrations

The 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival kicks off tomorrow. The world’s best independent film festival happens every January here in Park City, Utah and this milestone year promises tons of celebrations and parties filled with A-list celebrities and some of the world’s leading influencers in entertainment. Along with the panels and fireside chats dedicated to all things film and storytelling.

Some of the celebrities expected to attend this year’s Sundance Film Festival include Kristen Stewart, Jason Mamoa, Pedro Pascal, Christopher Nolan, and Robert Downey Jr. Also mother nature has promised to be present this year delivering a winter wonderland for us at Sundance, so be sure to dress extra warm and stay hydrated while you are up in the high altitude.

First, we recommend you check out the Sundance How To Fest page.

Beyond Film Events – Free and Available to the Public

The Beyond Film events encourages discussion and audience discourse by providing a community hub for Sundance festivalgoers stimulating artist conversations, and audience discourse through panels and talks with filmmakers and experts across the fields of art and science, and the leading influencers of today.

Naturally, due to limited seating, be sure to arrive at least 3 minutes early to gain admission to The Big Conversation, Cinema Café, and New Frontier as well as the 40th Edition Celebration events. And the Power of Story is a paid ticketed event.

Beyond Film speakers will include artists from films screening in the 2024 Festival, including Steven Soderbergh (Director, Presence), André Holland (Actor, Exhibiting Forgiveness), Sue Bird (Subject, Sue Bird: In The Clutch), Dee Rees (Writer-Director, Pariah), Lucy Lawless (Director, Never Look Away), Jay Ellis (Actor, Freaky Tales), Nzingha Stewart (Director, Me/We), Debra Granik (Director, Conbody VS Everybody), Jesse Eisenberg (Writer-Director and Actor, A Real Pain), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Writer-Director and Actor, Rob Peace).

The Power of Story: Four Decades of Taking Chances about the legacy of independent storytelling will feature Miguel Arteta, Richard Linklater, Dawn Porter, and Christine Vachon.

New Frontier Conversations

The New Frontier section of the festival champions innovation and the artists practicing at the crossroads of film, art, performance, and new media technology. The following conversations are planned and available to the public for free.

New Frontier: Let’s Rebrand Artificial Intelligence! – The conversation will feature Rashaad Newsome (Lead Artist, Being (the Digital Griot)) and New Frontier alumni, including Navid Khonsari (Block Party, Hero, Revolution 1979), Ari Melenciano (Computational Anthropology), and Sandra Rodriguez (CHOM5KY vs. CHOMSKY). See the schedule below for the full lineup. This year the Beyond Film section of the Sundance Film Festival will bring a New Frontier conversation about artificial intelligence.

CINEMA CAFÉ Presented by Audible During Sundance 2024

This series of informal chats brings together special guests for thought-provoking encounters. Previous Cinema Café guests have included Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Tessa Thompson, Jane Campion, Dave Grohl, Eugenio Derbez, Lena Dunham, Norman Lear, Kumail Nanjiani, Zazie Beetz, Saoirse Ronan, Spike Lee, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Radha Blank, Ira Glass, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bassem Youssef, Charlie Kaufman, Ice-T, Nick Hornby, Winston Duke, Samantha Power, Steve Coogan, Roger Corman, D. Smith, and many others.

When: Friday January 19–Thursday, January 25, 2024
Where: Filmmaker Lodge, 550 Main St.

Cinema Café: Sue Bird (Sue Bird: In The Clutch) and Jay Ellis (Freaky Tales)
Friday, January 19, 11 a.m.–noon

Cinema Café: André Holland (Exhibiting Forgiveness) and Steven Soderbergh (Presence)
Moderated by Aisha Harris (NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour)
Saturday, January 20, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Cinema Café: Jesse Eisenberg (A Real Pain) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Rob Peace)
Sunday, January 21, noon–12:45 p.m.

Cinema Café: Carla Gutiérrez (FRIDA), Lucy Lawless (Never Look Away), and Lana Wilson (Look Into My Eyes)Tuesday, January 23, 11 a.m.–noon

Cinema Café: Episodic Storytellers
Mark Duplass (Penelope), Mel Eslyn (Penelope), Steve James (City So Real), and Nzingha Stewart (Me/We)
Wednesday, January 24, 11 a.m.–noon

Cinema Café: Debra Granik (Conbody VS Everybody) and Dee Rees (Pariah)
Thursday, January 25, 11 a.m.–noon

The Greatest Night in Pop / U.K., U.S.A. (Director: Bao Nguyen, Producers: Julia Nottingham, Lionel Richie, Bruce Eskowitz, Larry Klein, Harriet Sternberg, George Hencken) — In 1985, 46 music icons, including Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder, came together for the most star-studded recording session in history. This is the untold story of the legendary global pop song “We Are the World” — which very nearly didn’t happen. World Premiere.

Following the film there will be an extended conversation with director Bao Nguyen, producer Julia Nottingham, and producer and subject Lionel Richie.

Canon Creative Studio at Sundance 2024

The Sundance Film Festival Canon Creative Studio returns to Park City. This studio has become a staple of the Sundance Festival and the lounge where you could pick up the legendary Canon Sundance beanie.

Friday, January 19 – 2 PM – Using Art to Process Trauma – How does a person continue to live when everything they love is under a vicious attack? Porcelain War, a U.S. Documentary Competition film premiering at the festival, poses this question against the backdrop of the destruction and despair of the ongoing war in Ukraine. In this panel discussion, co-directors Slava Leontyev and Brendan Bellomo, along with Dr. Ben Lewis of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute at University of Utah, chat with moderator Jay Holben about how art can be a meaningful tool in processing severe trauma.

Saturday, January 20

12 PM – Spotlight: In a Violent Nature – An undead monster rampages through the wilderness in the film In a Violent Nature, premiering at the festival. Shot on the Canon EOS C70 cinema camera, director Chris Nash and DP Pierce Derks sit down for a chat with moderator Jay Holben about the making of the film, and how they were able to get the look and feel they wanted for this film’s unique perspective on the genre.

3 PM – The Indie Aesthetic – Cinematographers crafting distinctive looks for independent productions often face unique creative challenges that require careful planning, on-the-fly ingenuity and inventive solutions. American Cinematographer managing editor Andrew Fish will explore this topic with a trio of accomplished directors of photography who have projects at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival: Kristen Correll (My Old Ass), Eric Yue (I Saw The TV Glow) and Arlene Muller (Stress Positions).

Sunday, January 21

12 PM – Spotlight on Documentaries – Join moderator Jay Holben, technical editor of American Cinematographer, for a far-ranging conversation with accomplished documentary cinematographers, including Laura Hudock (Girls State), Christopher LaMarca (Sugarcane) and Brad Garrison (Chasing Chasing Amy).

3 PM – The Business of Freelancing – Doing your job is the easy part. Networking, Taxes, Invoicing… that’s where it gets tricky. Join Craig Mizrahi (Talent Agent, Innovative Artists), Kristen Tolle-Billings (Partner/Agent, Worldwide Production Agency), and Jonathan Gray (Partner/Producer, Gray Schwartz, LLP) for an in-depth discussion with moderator Jay Holben about the business side of show business.

Monday, January 22 – 1 PM – Focused on Lenses – The lenses you choose help to define the look and feel of your project, and how the audience will interpret the scene. This panel will be an in-depth discussion of everything related to lenses, and how to best utilize them to convey your intentions for a scene. Joining moderator Jay Holben (technical editor of American Cinematographer) will be cinematographers David Klein (The Mandalorian) Bryan Gentry (Luther: Never Too Much), and Eloi Moli (Border Hopper).