Hollywood big-wigs, celebrities, their entourages, film fans and filmmakers have turned the winter wonderland nestled in the heart of Utah's Wasatch Mountains, into an adult playground where debauchery and misbehaviour are as normal as movie matinees and red carpets.
This year the festival is bigger than ever before as major corporations like Hewlett Packard, Acura, Bang & Olufsen and Eddie Bauer have got in on the act by taking over the shops along the city's Main Street and turning them into party venues and lounges to get their products into the hands of celebrities.
Party-hopping is a favourite late night sport as filmmakers and studios vie to lay on the best, most talked about soirees although things can sometimes turn nasty as evidenced when police were called to a nightclub at 3.30am after a female Paramount Pictures executive claimed she had been assaulted by actor Emile Hirsch, who is in town to promote his movie Ten Thousand Saints. Hirsch's representatives have not commented and police are still investigating.
|Iggy Azuela in concert|
Businesses are cashing in while the town is packed with visitors, and on the first weekend of the festival, long lines of would-be customers waited patiently outside overcrowded bars and restaurants that were charging people $20 just to get in.
Music plays a large part in the festival nowadays and while there Theo Kingma, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and I took in an Iggy Azuela concert at the Live Park City venue. We were fortunate enough to be in the VIP section where drink flowed freely and hostesses were on hand to make sure we had everything we wanted.
|Theo gets cozy with Nicole Kidman|
Because of the city's proximity to Los Angeles, celebrities were in town in droves to publicise their movies, promote themselves and to reap whatever they could pick up from the "swag suites" set up to fete the famous with spa treatments, designer clothes, liquor and valuable electronic goodies.
Theo and I chatted with Nicole Kidman and Cynthia Nixon, the former Sex and the City co-star who had two films screening at Sundance.
Oh yes. The films.
This year 4,105 feature films applied to be screened and only 123 were selected, making the festival tougher than ever to get into and also even more important, as two of this year's Oscar nominees, Boyhood and Whiplash, were first screened at Sundance last year.
The Sundance movie this year being tipped to be around at next year's Oscars is Brooklyn, which stars Saoirse Ronan as an Irish girl who moves to Brooklyn, New York in the 1950s. It also featurees Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters and has alreaady been picked up by Fox Searchlight for distribution.
So keep an eye open for it.