Sundance Kicks Off With Parties, Weed And Norman Lear

Sundance Film Festival 2016 is a snowy playground for the rich and famous

Norman Lear the Sundance Institute's 2011 benefit in Beverly Hills — REUTERS
Jan 22, 2016 at 9:55 AM ET

On Thursday night “Norman Lear: Another Version of You,”a documentary by directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grad, received  a standing ovation when it opened the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. But the party’s just getting started.

Vocativ analyzed over 13,000 tweets from and about Sundance during the past 24 hours, revealing the biopic about legendary sitcom writer made Norman Lear was Twitter’s most discussed screening of the festival’s first day. The film is also a part of a social media campaign, #52filmsbywomen, which has inspired thousands of people to make a New Year’s resolution to discover more movies made by female directors.

An average of 45,000 people flock to Sundance every year, turning Park City from a quiet resort town to a winter playground for the rich and famous. According to an economics report by the University of Utah, the majority of attendees fly in from California and New York. In 2014 they spent $63.9 million dollars during the 10-day festival. Vocativ used geolocation technology to curate some of the best Instagram photos of Thursday’s revelry, from private jets and hot tubs to Elijah Wood spinning Whitney Houston at one of the evening’s after parties:

Chanel #22 does Park City.

A photo posted by Stassi Schroeder (@stassischroeder) on

Just landed.. Let the #sundance festivities begin 😝🎬 #sundancefilmfestival #parkcity A photo posted by Summer de Almeida✨ (@summerdealmeida) on

this was a good idea. ❄️🌬🍷#sundance #sundancefilmfestival #parkcity

A photo posted by Kait | Madly Mignon (@kaitness) on

Frodo is djing this party 😭 A photo posted by Sara Hughes (@sarajh) on

Sundance is such a popular exodus for Hollywood elite that the founder of the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club, a marijuana club so exclusive it brags to accept clients “by referral only,” is there promoting festival selfies with her company hashtag.

“Diversity comes out of the word independence. It’s a word I operate from principally for most of my life,” Robert Redford said at the kickoff press conference. “We don’t take a position of advocacy.”