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JAN 183: Sundance Film Festival
Park City, United States (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Jan Term
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: SMC-CA applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Course Title:Sundance Film FestivalCourse ID:JAN 183Instructors:Virginia Saenz McCarthyContact Email:vsmccarthy@mac.comLocation:

Salt Lake City, Utah


Course Description:

The Utah/United States Film Festival was inaugurated in 1978 to lure filmmakers and tourists to Utah with retrospectives and celebrity panels. Sundance Institute took over in 1985 and transformed the festival into a showcase for emerging filmmakers. The box office success of sex, lies, and videotape in 1989 established the festival as the premiere independent film market. Renamed the Sundance Film Festival in 1991, it became a magnet for studios, distributors, and agents who charged into Park City to wine, dine, and sign new talent. This distinguished Sundance as one of the top film festivals in the world. In 2016, 123 features selected from 4,081 submissions from 37 countries screened with over 50,000 people in attendance. Film purists argue that the Sundance marketplace has spawned indie lite – films with a mainstream sensibility posing as independent. Others argue that Sundance has nourished a greater appetite for films that challenge the status quo. All agree that Sundance is the film lovers ultimate rush. We will study the history of Sundance and its impact upon the evolution of independent film.  Among the questions we will address are: What are the essential characteristics of an independent film? To what extent do indies form an alternative that is truly different? To what extent do indies challenge the status quo? Students will also explore the mythic dimensions of film. From January 19-29, students will attend the Sundance Film Festival. All students interested in learning more about independent film are welcome in this course. Students interested in screenwriting, directing, producing and careers in film or television production are especially encouraged to participate.  


Division:Upper DivisionPrerequisites:

ENG 4 or ENG 5


Informational Meetings:

Attendance at one of these meetings is mandatory for enrollment (contact the instructor if you have conflicts):  

Friday, 9/9, 4:00-5:00pm, Galileo 201

Friday 9/9, 6:00-7:00pm, Galileo 201

Tuesday, 9/13, 3:30-4:30pm, GV 350

Tuesday, 9/13, 5:30-6:30pm, Galileo 201



Reading List:

Dell DeChant, "The Sacred Santa" 

Joseph Campbell, "The Power of Myth"

Lory Smith, "Party in A Box"

Peter Biskind, "Down and Dirty Pictures"



Basis for Final Grade:

10% for Class Participation, 35% for Assignments & Final Test, 25% for Paper, 30% for Final




Course Fee Per Student:$2,250Description of What the Course Fee Covers:

The course fee covers the following: lodging, round-trip airfare, airport shuttle service in Utah, handouts, class DVD rentals, group meals at the festival.

Students should plan to spend at least $300 for film tickets at the festival in addition to the course fee.



Dates Traveling:

January 19-29, 2017


Dates on Campus:

January 9 - 18


Class Schedule:MTuWTh, 2:45 - 5:20 PMSpaces reserved for freshmen:No

This program is currently not accepting applications.