Film Forum

How to Sundance — while in Fresno


Have you ever dreamed of attending the Sundance Film Festival? That dream can become a reality, as this year’s Festival will take place digitally via a feature-rich, Sundance-built online platform from January 28 through February 3.

Following are my simple steps for a local cinephile’s “How to Fest” at Sundance:

1. Visit the Sundance website at festival.sundance.org. There are myriad options available, but my experience attending Sundance led me to take a simple approach to seeing as many films as possible.

2. Once you have read through the options for purchasing passes and/or tickets to single films, you can build your profile. This takes only a few minutes and allows you to select and purchase films.

3. I began the same way I do when I am attending the festival in person. I select the films I would like to see and then I create a grid using the dates and times offered for each film. What makes virtual viewing especially nice is the option to purchase a 24-hour on demand window for films. This alleviates the stress of having to be home at a specific hour to watch your selections.

4. I chose to purchase the $100 awards pass, which will give me a 24-hour window to view the films receiving awards at the festival. It is the perfect way to guarantee you will have a chance to see some of the festival’s best films.

5. After purchasing my pass, I went on to select ten single films. I spread them out over the week so as not to risk viewer fatigue. For most of my in-person Sundance experiences, I saw 14 films beginning on a Thursday afternoon and finishing 4 days later with a slate of award winners. That many films in such a short period of time can be overwhelming, so I strongly suggest taking into consideration how many hours of viewing a day will work best for you.

6. There are clear instructions for buying a pass and/or buying single tickets. Even this technology-challenged cinephile completed the selection/purchase process in about 15 minutes. Just be sure to have your carefully organized film grid and credit card ready to go.

Happy Sundance 2021 — from your home!

A retired high school English teacher, Cindy Peters Duzi serves on the Filmworks board as venue director. She blogs about the current cinema on her Instagram.

Virtual Cinema supports Fresno Filmworks and the independent distributors we love, from the comfort and safety of your home. Try it!