YouTube Gets Into Sundance

By 01/15/2014
YouTube Gets Into Sundance

In a continuation of its bid to touch on, be relevant to, and experiment with all areas of the entertainment industry, YouTube will have a massive presence at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

The Robert Redford-founded program of the Sundance Institute that was originally conceived to attract more filmmakers to the Beehive State, but has since turned into a Hollywood media extravaganza is set to take place in Park City, Utah from January 16 through January 26 and expected to attract upwards of 50,000 attendees. Entertainment pundits expect this year’s event to be “decidedly less commercial,” showcasing more horror and comedy films than the typical dark dramas for which Sundance is well known.

But that “decidedly less commercial” sentiment applies only to what’s being shown on screen. The streets of Park City will undoubtedly be inundated with extravagant setups meant to market entertainment entities and recognizable high-end consumer brands. And in the midst of them all will be YouTube On Main Street, the world’s largest video sharing site’s 11-day Utah outpost, hosting “must-see panels, happy hours, film receptions, screenings, talks, and DJ sets.”


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The YouTube brand will most noticeably be seen on the Sundance as the presenting sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival Short Film Program, whose nominated artists and entries you can check out on the program’s dedicated YouTube channel. On Saturday, January 25, 2014, the YouTube Audience Award will also be presented to one of 15 short films in competition that receives the most amount of views throughout the duration of the festival.

Other events the press release tells us to expect at YouTube on Main Street are below (including daily Yoga classes). Be sure to bundle up and enjoy.

Daily Events at YouTube on Main Street:

  • Live @ Sundance On The Sundance Festival YouTube Channel – Live daily from January 17-24, 2014 at 11am MST at Whether you’re in Park City or Phuket, you can check out the best of the fest daily with Live @ Sundance. The one-hour talk show will air live daily at 11am MST January 17-24, 2014 from “YouTube on Mainstreet”.  The show will feature guest hosts Shira LazarCasey Neistat and Jimmy Conrad, filmmaker interviews, the latest news from the festival, exclusive sneak peeks and more.
  • Yoga (Jan. 17-24; 7:30-9am MST) – Breathe and ease into warrior pose at these daily yoga sessions. Casey Ho, star of the popular blogilates channel on YouTube, will lead these classes on January 17-21  Free and open to the public.

Individual Events:

  • Make Your Voice Heard: Technology and Social Impact Panel & Reception (Jan. 17; 12-2pm MST) –  Hear from filmmakers, activists, and industry experts on how innovation in technology and social media are being harnessed for documentary finance, outreach, and distribution. Panel will include filmmakers from The Internet’s Own Boy (US Documentary Competition) and We Are the Giant (Documentary Premieres), two films that tell stories of individuals who have bypassed traditional barriers to communication by using technology and social media to impact lives and create change worldwide. Free and open to the public.
  • Remember What You Heard Hear: Music and Film Panel & Live Set with DJ Young Guru (Jan. 17; 5-8pm MST) – Renowned DJ and producer Young Guru hosts  a discussion with film composers, musicians and filmmakers on the marriage of film and music as a narrative form. Includes a reception and live set by Young Guru.
  • Fundraising and YouTube Panel (Jan. 18; 12-2pm MST) – With the rise of new online fundraising tools, the audience is playing a big role in how films get financed. Join us in a talk with filmmakers, film financing companies and talent agents to learn how filmmakers use their YouTube audience to fund projects. Free and open to the public.
  • Talent Discovery on YouTube Panel (Jan. 18;  2:30-4:00pm MST) – YouTube is a hotbed for talent discovery. Join us in a talk as we learn from leading experts including a studio producer, talent agent and YouTube star on how being discovered on YouTube can take creators to new heights on and off YouTube. Free and open to the public.
  • Sundance Short Directors Reception (Jan. 18; 5-7pm MST) – YouTube will host the official directors reception on shorts premiere night. By invitation only.
  • Sundance YouTube Party (Jan. 18; 9pm-2am MST) – YouTube’s official Sundance party. By invitation only.
  • Dear White People Film Reception (Jan. 19; 1-4pm MST) – A reception for the world premiere of the film that started as a satirical trailer on YouTube. Includes a live Google+ hangout with supporters and talent from the film including Big Boi from Outkast, Effie Brown and director Justin Simien. By invitation only.
  • How and Why to Use YouTube with Rhett & Link Panel (Jan. 19; 5-6pm MST) – Hear insights from two of YouTube’s smartest creators, Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, from the hit YouTube channel Rhett & Link on how they have usedYouTube to build an audience and their careers as filmmakers. Free and open to the public.
  • To Be Takei Film Reception (Jan. 19; 6:30-8:30pm MST) – A reception for the world premiere of the new documentary. Includes a live Google + hangout with George Takei. By invitation only.
  • The Wrap Panel: How to Break Through the Digital Clutter and Your Movie Pop (Jan. 20; 2-3pm MST) – Join Wrap founder and editor in chief Sharon Waxman as she moderates a panel of movie and technology experts about how to make sure your movie breaks through the clutter and is seen. Free and open to the public.
  • CIR Panel and Happy Hour (Jan. 20; 6-8pm MST) – Join CIR’s (Center for Investigative Reporting) Stephen Talbot, senior producer for video and The I Files channel on YouTube,  as he moderates a discussion that will explore the intersection of cinema and journalism in the YouTube age. By invitation only.
  • New Frontiers Filmmaker Event (Jan. 20; 9-11pm MST) – The Sundance Institute’s New Frontier program hosts a party for filmmakers. By invitation only.
  • Women in Film Panel and Reception (Jan. 21; 7-10 pm) – Join independent film producer Anne Hubbell as she leads a panel that will focus on how online and digital are enabling women to find audiences and showcase their work. By invitation only.
  • Why Shorts Matter Panel and Reception (Jan 22;  4-6pm) Moderated by the Zellner Brothers, hear from them and other Sundance filmmakers on how short films made it possible for them to make features that brought them to the festival. Free and open to the public.

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