We Sundanced Til Dawn
Supporting #IndieFilmakers From Tribeca to South Hampton, Austin to Milan, & everywhere in-between
A bloggy collection of journalistic stories about breaking into Hollywood 
from the former "Queen of Latenight."

Sundance til dawn

Your Very Unofficial Guide to Late Night Fun at Film Festivals Worldwide


Sundance Til Dawn's Sundance Slang

Adaptive ~ When a human is faced with a life changing obstacle, a natural adaptive response instinctively takes over. When those with an additional physical or mental challenge learn to expand their abilities, they develop the power to overcome adversity. The adaptive process of learning to confront daily obstacles, of developing the power to transcend limitations, enriches the lives of an adaptive individual; therefore, adaptive is a far more creative and empowering description when working with those who traditionally have been referred to as "disabled." Using the term adaptive is simply equaling the perception on the playing field. Adaptive or not, disabled or not, female or male, black or white, a talented actor is a talented actor, and by opening up roles to more diverse representations of what makes up the human race, that point can be hammered home. 

Ambush marketers ~ A term coined by Robert Redford referring to carpet-bagging companies who descend upon Park City during the festival in an effort to launch brands and introduce lines of products to the massive crowds of attendees. 
(2015 = 50,000+)

Billboard Winterfest ~ A 10 day festival of music and concerts held at Park City Live in Utah running concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival. In 2015, their inaugural year, this Satellite Event included one concert a night. Iggy Azalea headlined, along with Skrillex, Lindsey Stirling, Portugal, The Man, Knife Party, and Alesso.

Cinemists ~ In the context of Sundance, a cinemist is someone who views film as a superior medium to all other "lesser" forms of media, i.e. books, poetry, dance, music or online fanfiction literary creations.
Crowdfunding websites ~  The online practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.
Crowdsourcing portals ~ The practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.

Ewaiting List ~ In order to ensure that every seat in every theatre is taken, prior to the start of each film Sundance sells the open seats to people who have signed up on their eWaitlist. It's apparently a very successful way to see some of the films that sell out early, and they've tried to make it easier by allowing attendees to sign up anywhere with an internet connection. How does it work? Ewaitlist is a mobile-enabled check-in system that allows festivalgoers to reserve a space in line over the internet. Sundance also provides self-serve kiosks for those without an internet capable device. The idea is to cut down on waiting in long, cold lines for two hours prior to a screening time for a waitlist number as the system also allows festivalgoers to view/manage their check-in and see the likelihood of admittance to an event. It’s an environmentally friendly, paperless solution to what used to be a large time waster at Sundance. Here are the instructions:


Register for the Sundance Film Festival eWaitlist at ewaitlist.sundance.org for an opportunity to join a waitlist to any Festival screening. Please note that this account is unique to the eWaitlist. Previously created accounts related to ticketing or merchandise purchases are not applicable.


Want to waitlist for a film with a friend? Link your eWaitlist account to a friend's by going to your account settings , which is the gear icon in the upper right corner of your screen. There you can invite your friend to either create an account and link to yours, or if they already have one, you can link instantly!


At two hours before the scheduled screening time for your desired film, the eWaitlist will open and you will be eligible to check-in for a waitlist number. If you're early, you'll find a countdown clock on the screening's check-in page so that you'll know exactly when to check-in. You'll only be eligible to waitlist for one screening per two-hour window, but you can change which film you are waitlisting for even after you've added yourself to a waitlist line. Remember, you can join the waitlist either by yourself or with a friend.


Once you check-in, you'll immediately receive your eWaitlist number. It will be saved under your "My Waitlist" heading in your account. If you eWaitlist with a friend, you'll also see their number, and they will have access to the waitlist number in their own "My Waitlist."

Changed your mind? Just CANCEL your ewaitlist number (the remaining waitlisters with higher numbers than yours will be excited to know that someone in front of them has cancelled). You'll immediately be eligible to waitlist for another film during the same time period.

Upon arrival, just present your eWaitlist number on your mobile device to a volunteer on-site, and queue in your number position. If you do not have a mobile device but have an eWaitlist number you received from a computer, present a valid photo ID to the theater volunteer on-site. They will have a full list of eWaitlist registrants and eWaitlist numbers. If you arrive at the theater less than 30 minutes before the scheduled screening time, you will be asked to queue at the end of the line regardless of your eWaitlist number.

Beginning anytime from 30 minutes before the screening time up until the start of the film, waitlist tickets will be sold to the waitlist line in queue order on a space available basis. Tickets are $15 and only cash is accepted. Exact change is recommended, so be sure to stop by the ATM to get some cash before getting in line – they cannot accept credit or debit cards at the theatres. Waitlist tickets for Sundance Kids screenings are $10.


In order to eWaitlist, you must first register online. You may only register yourself once, creating only one account. You may only check-in for ONE eWaitlist per two-hour time period. You may cancel your eWaitlist up to 30 minutes before showtime. All eWaitlists will close 30 minutes prior to the scheduled screening times. If you cancel your eWaitlist for a particular screening before that cutoff time, you will become eligible to eWaitlist for a different screening within the same two-hour window. Be sure to cancel your ewaitlist number if you do not intend to show up to the theatre. If you you do not show up to the theatre two consecutive times AND you did not cancel your ewaitlist check-in, you will receive a warning from the system indicating your next no-show, no-cancel will result in the suspension of your account for 6 hours. If an eWaitlist reaches the maximum number of eWaitlist numbers that will be distributed to a particular screening, the eWaitlist will be closed, regardless of timing. You may link your account to a friend, but your friend will have to authorize this link in order for it to be active. You may link your account to multiple friends accounts, but you may only eWaitlist with one friend at a time to a particular screening. If you arrive to the waitlist line at the theatre less than 30 minutes before the screening time, your number will be null and void. You will have to waitlist at the end of the line regardless of your previously issued waitlist number.


Please present your waitlist number via your mobile internet capable device upon arrival at the theater. A theater representative will assist placing you in queue, amongst other waitlisters. In the event that you are unable to access your waitlist number, you may present a photo ID to the theatre representative on-site. She or he will have a complete list of eWaitlist names and line position numbers, and will be able to verify your waitlist number.


If you do not have a mobile, internet capable device, and you check-in for the eWaitlist at a stationary computer, you will need to present a valid photo ID to the theater representative at your desired screening. They will have a complete list of eWaitlist names and line position numbers, and will be able to verify your waitlist number. 


All waitlist tickets will be sold to the waitlist line in queue order on a space available basis. The number of average admitted waitlist patrons by theater is published in the film guide and posted on signs at individual theaters. That number is an average of all time periods and days of the week, regardless of film category. In the case of popular films, fewer than average numbers may be admitted, and other films may have room for more filmgoers. 

Film Festival Circuit ~   The “film festival” is a global phenomenon. A filmmaker's roadmap, the heart of the independent film industry has always been in the film festival circuitThe most well-known film festivals are the Venice Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto Film FestivalSundance Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival, the latter being the largest film festival worldwide, based on attendance. Venice's festival is the oldest major festival, and the longest continually running one, have began in 1932. The Melbourne International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the oldest in the world. There are thousands of active films festivals worldwide — active defined as having held an event in the previous 24 months, but there are only a few that are considered part of the "circuit." Some festivals are mammoth, star-studded gala events that are widely covered by the international press, like Cannes, while others like Edinburgh’s Dead by Dawn or The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, barely register on the global market. The awards and exposure one gains from showing their film in the festival circuit does not necessarily produce direct outcome if the goals are to secure a distribution deal or build a core audience to see the film. There is an argument to be made that film festivals are really about bringing in tourists, renting condos, and giving a boost to local economies, much like the Tribeca Film Festival which was famously founded in 2002 to bring life back to the lower part of Manhattan after 9/11. Vanity Fair was a tounge in cheek article you should check out on 2015's Film Festival Circuit. Of course, in their piece, the only ones that matter are Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride. Our version of the circuit (always subject to change) looks like this: Sundance, Berlinale, SXSW, Beverly Hills, Tribeca, Milan, Cannes.
Filmocide ~ Filmocide sometimes happens when a filmmaker reveals - during a Q & A or an industry interview - what message or insight he or she was thinking of conveying to the public when in preproduction on a project. Filmocide occurs when that idea doesn't seem to shine through in any way in the finished product resulting in thoroughly confusing audiences who at first loved the piece, but who - after hearing the kernel from which the acorn grew - subsequently become disappointed in the screening.

Flash parties

FOMO ~ F.O.M.O. or Feeling of Missing Out, i.e. Not making it to Park City, hearing about all the great parties and art and cumulative creativity and yearning to join. Fear not, fellow FOMOs, throughout this entire website are links to videos of programming, panels, and even full shorts you can see online, anytime. 

"Found footage" film

Gap funded ~ A film requires gap funding when it's production budget is all used up, and more capital is need to fund some element of preproduction, production, and/or post production in order to finish the film. When the gap is closed with debt instruments or equity participation, the film has been gap funded.

Glossary ~ Our tongue in cheek way of talking smak about Sundance Slang. 

Indie ~ Although you might be prone to think that this is just the nickname of Indiana Jones, you might be surprised to find that Indie is also a term used for any project that finds an entrepreneurial path to completion, and also refers to any person you chooses that path.

Late night ~ Events and parties that happen after-hours, and don't show up on any party lists. These much talked about get togethers never start before 1:00 a.m. and most certainly end no later than breakfast at dawn.

LGBTQUIA ~ Simply put, LGBTQUIA refers to a group of humans who self identify as either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, or Asexual. If you aren't fluent in this particular arrangement of letters in the English alphabet, we'll be happy to break it down...

What Does LGBTQIA mean? 

Lesbian – A female-identified person who is attracted romantically, 

physically, or emotionally to another female-identified person. 

Gay – A male-identified person who is attracted romantically, 

physically, or emotionally to another male-identified person. 

Bisexual – A person who is attracted romantically, physically, 

or emotionally to both men and women. 

Transgender – A person who is a member of a gender other than

 that expected based on anatomical sex.

Queer – An umbrella term which embraces a variety of sexual preferences, 

orientations, and habits of those who do not adhere to 

the heterosexual and cisgender majority. The term queer includes, 

but is not exclusive to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transpeople, 

and intersex persons, traditionally, this term is derogatory and hurtful, 

however, many people who do not adhere to sexual and/or 

gender norms use it to self-identify in a positive way. 

Intersex – Someone who’s physical sex characteristics are not 

categorized as exclusively male or exclusively female. 

Asexual – A person who is not attracted to anyone, or 

a person who does not have a sexual orientation. 

And for reading this entire paragraph we'll give you an extra credit definition: 

Ally – A person who does not identify as LGBTQIA, but supports the rights and safety of those who do.

New Frontier Section New Frontier at Sundance Institute is a dynamic initiative created to identify and foster independent artists working at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music and technology. Since 2007, the New Frontier exhibition at the Sundance Film Festival has provided the highest level of curation in the emerging field, incorporating fiction, non-fiction and hybrid projects to showcase transmedia storytelling, multi-media installations, performances and films. A bold spirit of innovation has emerged among artists as they seek to engage audiences with narrative worlds that leverage new technologies, visual aesthetics, social media cultures, immersive designs, game theory, transmedia activism and shifts in the boundaries of authorship. Since the turn of the century, the media landscape has transformed and storytellers are both exploring as well as constructing this new terrain, pioneering new connections with audiences and re-structuring story design. Sundance Labs and Residency programs at New Frontier work to identify and foster independent artists and creative technologists innovating the art and form of story at the convergence of diverse forms of creative expression; and to build a community of collaborators across diverse disciplines to push the boundaries of story. (Sundance Insitute, 2015)

NEXT Featuring screenings, music and conversation, the NEXT section of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, showcases stylistically adventurous films that take a bold approach to storytelling. Sundance NEXT FEST is an extension of the popular NEXT section, and is fueled by the renegade spirit of independent artists. Sundance NEXT FEST takes place in Los Angeles in August, and is billed as a new breed of festival experience celebrating the intersection of music and film. Each film curated is marked by unfettered creativity and is paired with either a special music performance that embodies a shared artistic sensibility, or a conversation that brings together filmmakers with those who inspired them.

Overall Sundance Party Grid ~ All parties and events planned for Sundance each year are compiled exclusively for members of the entertainment industry by busy assistants and development executives throughout lala land. Versions of the list can be purchased online (use google), but more often an agent's assistant at a large talent & lit agency in Hollywood will leak the list to important clients planning to attend the festival as well. Note, just because you have the list, does not mean you are suddenly invited to anything on that list. It just means you can email the RSVP person, and ask.

Park City At MidnightFrom horror flicks to comedies to works that defy any genre, these unruly films screening around Park City at Midnight keep you edge-seated and wide awake.

PIBS ~ A local term that refers to Sundance festival attendees. Park City locals say they can tell the difference between skiers and Sundancers from a block away, because Sundancers seem to always where black. Thus P.I.B.S. ~ People in Black.

Private LocationWhen planning a party at Sundance, make sure you know who exactly you are inviting. If you want an industry related event, it is always a good idea to have someone at the door, actually checking IDs. If someone doesn't have a business card, and they have a Utah ID, you are most likely looking at locals crashing. If you brought enough alcohol for everyone great, but when the guy ends up asleep on your bathroom floor, or worse, awake and won't leave at 2 a.m., you'll remember you were warned. Keep someone at the door, and make sure those who are invited keep the info close to their vest. Small things like fur hats, purses, phones and cash have shown up missing many times over the years. If you know who you have at your party, that's much less likely to happen. Sometimes the use of temporary tattoos are suggested to better identify invited guests. One small branded design on an inner wrist can keep the door simple, and won't leave a long line waiting outside.

Purchase Time Slot

Satellite Event ~ Note: As in the case of Slamdance, some satellite events can evolve into Park City fixtures and become stand alone festivals that program events all year long. Some, like Park City Live's Winterfest, also last for 10 days, taking advantage of the crowds, and betting they can steer some away from film events into their venues. 2015 was the first year of Billboard Winterfest, but look for them to come back, again and again.

Spotlight Section 

Stop Motion Animation

Undisclosed location ~ See "Private Location."
Visual Effects Supervisor ~ In the context of film production, a visual effects supervisor is responsible for achieving the creative aims of the director and/or producers through the use of visual effects. While it's a creative role, most supervisors possess a strong technical background and are more than capable of making informed decisions about the most efficient and effective technique necessary to solve the task at hand. Often a supervisor will work in tandem with a visual effects producer and computer graphics supervisor. VFX Supervisors can be employed directly by a film production company or work for a visual effects company. When VFX is required, and the budget allows, there are often several VFX supervisors on a project, although there is typically a senior VFX supervisor directing their efforts. Specific responsibilities vary somewhat depending on the nature of the production, however most supervisors can handle a VFX project from conception through to completion; manage and direct the technical, artistic, and production personnel; possess a knowledge of various visual effect techniques with emphasis on camera set-ups; can draw from a wide variety of film knowledge with an eye for composition and camera work; accurately predict timing and associated costs of a project, and collaborate on the bidding and negotiation processes.
YOLO ~ Y.O.L.O. or You Only Live Once