As the Sundance Film Festival begins, a whirlwind of screenings, panels, and high-end events is in the air. DLX takes you inside some of the stand-out, exclusive events at Sundance 2018.
First, the Chase Sapphire house on Main Street was an intimate and richly designed hangout reminiscent of a hip, downtown New York lounge for many celebrities during the Festival from recording artists John Legend to Joan Jett. Additionally, LA Times Live @ Sundance Film Festival hosted a panel for the film A Kid Like Jake featuring the cast, including Oscar-nominated Octavia Spencer, Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Priyanka Chopra at the same location.
DIRECTV Lodge presented by AT&T was a major favorite both day and night at the Festival. An exclusive dinner and party for the film Damsel with Rob Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska was a stand-out. The Blaze event with Ethan Hawke and Alia Shawkat had festival insiders lined up at the door as well.
In fact, AT&T and DIRECTV returned to Sundance in a big way this year for four full days and nights of female and diversity-conscious programming. Kicking off with a GLAAD Awards live stream with Wilson Cruz and Trace Lysette, events in the space included Women in Film discussion and dinner, African Film Critics Association and Kusama Infinity luncheons, Latino Reel Panel and a film party for We the Animals, which features a strong Latino cast. The DIRECTV Lodge also hosted the Bentonville Film Festival, a festival within a festival, that supports inclusion for the need of diverse characters on-screen, and an after party for Skate Kitchen, a highly anticipated film about a group of girl skateboarders with all female directors, writers, and producers. Such celebrities as ASAP Rocky, Emmy Rossum, Joan Jett, Benjamin Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Sexton and many more were spotted at the various events and late night parties on site.
No Sundance is complete without Chefdance, the now 15-year-old event that is one of the most coveted “gets” of the Festival. Over four nights, notable chefs prepare incredible meals for industry insiders and celebrities, all with philanthropy as the backdrop. This year Cher Brian Malarkey, Top Chef & TV Host and chef at Herringbone, San Diego, prepared such dishes as Seafood Crispy Rice and Wagyu Eye of Rib. The event raised money for The Art of Elysium, the organization that uses art to help individuals transcend their circumstances. The event was hosted by actors Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix.
Chic Los Angeles couple Kenny Griswold and Mimi Kim, debuted the first ChefDance event in 2004 to provide the perfect marriage of fine food and film. Today, ChefDance is one of the most highly acclaimed culinary event series bringing the country’s finest chefs together with the Sundance Film Festival’s most acclaimed actors by hosting lavish dinners paired with specialty cocktails. Such notables as Will.i.am, Common and Sara Foster were sighted over the four nights of the event.
Hotel Park City, part of Autograph Collection Hotels luxury offerings hosted the HBO’s celebration of documentary films, including that of Jane Fonda In Five Acts, being screened at the Festival. The event was held inside of Ruth’s Chris Steak House inside of Hotel Park City where there was an overflowing carving, pasta, dessert, seafood, and champagne. But the exclusive event hosted by Maggie Gyllenhaal at the hotel’s Aspen Room was a stand-out complete with a performance by Martha Wainwright. The event celebrated this year’s independent films, the power of diversity and perseverance, as well as Gyllenhaal’s position as Autograph’s latest brand ambassador. She even sang with Wainwright.
RAND Luxury presented a private celebration for the film Monster, which premiered at the Festival. The intimate dinner took place at Grappa on Main Street.
Attendees included John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Ehle, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Ben-Victor, Dorian Missick, Anthony Mandler, Spike Lee, Tonya Lewis Lee, and many more.
Jennifer Hudson, who plays Mrs. Harmon in the film, also sent the team bottles of Veuve Clicquot to kick-off the evening’s celebrations. The dinner was sponsored by Jet Aviation and Cohiba.
Finally, for those who love the intersection of luxury and dining and a break from the hectic scene on Main Street, the prime selection was atop Deer Valley at the exclusive Fireside Dining. The restaurant featured various stations featuring the finest in lamb, ribs, raclette stations and more in various rooms, each nestled with a warm and seductive fireplace. Naturally, reservations were coveted at this fine dining establishment.
No doubt this year’s Festival is a testament to great innovation as well as style and notoriety.
To learn more about Sundance Film Festival, visit the event’s official website.
Images courtesy of: Chase Sapphire, Getty Images, Autograph Collection Hotels, RAND Luxury, Deer Valley.
Written by DLX contributor Lauren deLisa Coleman.
Lauren is a contributor to leading media outlets such as Forbes, CNBC.com, and Inc. She tracks the convergence of cultural trends with that of emerging tech and the impact of that on business and politics. When she’s not on-air or speaking at events, she is all about listening to the best in hip-hop.