This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Eventually I learned that getting in depends on who you know. And figuring out who to know and how to know them took six years and a lot of work - or maybe I should call it professional schmoozing. Now I can divulge the five levels of Sundance parties, what goes on behind those people with the clipboards and your chances - or not - of getting in.
The official Sundance party
Sponsored by the festival itself.
Examples: Music on Main on Thursday and the Awards Night Party on Saturday.
Who goes: Anyone with a Sundance pass, and sometimes the public - up to hundreds of people.
What's there: Hors d'ouvres, documentary filmmakers, Sundance honchos and live music.
Your chances: Pretty good, especially if you shelled out for a pass or made a Sundance short.
Big industry parties
Usually invitation-only events hosted by well-known organizations.
Examples: The PBS party Friday at the Kimball Art Center, nightly "pool parties" at the Queer Lounge, Washington state film incentives party on Saturday.
Who goes: People who work in the industry, usually looking to network.
What's there: A DJ, free-flowing beer and vodka, people standing outside on Main Street waiting to get checked off the invite list.
Your chances: Not bad - if you work in the industry or know someone who does.
Smaller affairs, usually 200-300 people, in restaurants and private houses and sponsored by the same companies schmoozing with celebrities by day.
Examples: The Motorola Late-Night Lounge on Saturday, the Welcome to Sundance party at the 5W Sundance Escape Mansion on Thursday.
Who goes: Celebrities, "Entertainment Tonight," execs.
What's there: DJs or bands, lots of liquor but no food (these people don't eat).
Your chances: Unless you are a VIP by the party-thrower's definition, forget it.
Cast parties and dinner parties
The smallest of the parties, often with fewer than 50 people.
Examples: A director, producer and actors fresh from a premiere heading for a hotel suite or private chateau in Deer Valley.
Who goes: People associated with a film, their good friends, celebrities without makeup.
What's there: Quiet dinners, sometimes prepared by private chefs.
Your chances: Close to zero. You won't even hear about them.
Other festivals' parties
Less heavy on celebrities but probably higher on charm.
Examples: Slamdance's Happy Hours throughout the festival, the TromaDance closing party next Saturday.
Who goes: People who disdain the mainstream.
What's there: Music, food, an odd assortment of fans and string-budget filmmakers.
Your chances: Excellent, especially if you have $20 to donate.