It’s that time of year again: The Sundance Film Festival 2019 kicks off this week with hundreds of movie premieres, cultural events and celebrity sightings across Park City and Salt Lake City. Beyond just catching as many screenings as we can, University of Utah Health enters into its third and busiest year as a Sustaining Sponsor for Sundance Film Festival. How will we be involved in 2019? We’re glad you asked…
Short film screening and panel on Friday, Feb. 1
University of Utah Health teamed up with award-winning directors Jeremiah Zagar and Ross Kauffman to tell the story of Tyler, who at 10 years old lost his ability to walk, see and hear. Tyler’s family eventually turned to U of U Health, where Lorenzo Botto, director of the Penelope Project, and other geneticists at the U, searched Tyler’s DNA for clues to his condition. Joining the filmmakers and geneticists on a panel at Filmmaker Lodge to discuss the seven-minute film are August Teuscher, Tyler’s mother; Heather Kahlert, executive producer; and Geralyn White Dreyfous, founder of the Utah Film Center and moderator of the panel. (Bonus: a local edition of the screening and panel will be open to the public at UMFA on Friday, Feb. 8).
Presence in the Festival Co-op space
Alongside major international sponsors on the Sundance Film Festival, U of U Health will operate a Wellness Hub in the Festival Co-op space on Main Street in Park City. Open Friday, Jan. 25-Monday, Jan. 28, the Wellness Hub will provide free chair massages to Sundance attendees and more information about the University of Utah’s world-class health care.
Yoga in the Chase Sapphire Lounge
Select Chase Sapphire cardmembers attending Sundance will have their choice of two exclusive hour-long yoga sessions with Instagram-famous influencer Lesley Murphy (yes, from “The Bachelor”) and local instructor Kavita Bianchetti. U of U Health yoga teachers Beverly Bischof and Isabeau Robison will assist—and all of the VIPs will go home with co-branded U of U Health/Chase yoga mats, putting our brand front and center with a premium audience.
Partnership with Lyft
Speaking of putting our brand front and center, U of U Health and Lyft teamed up to create co-branded first aid kits for the 2,000 or so Lyft drivers working hard during the Sundance Film Festival. In addition, U of U Health massage therapists will provide 15-minute massages for Lyft drivers in the ridesharing app’s designated Driver Hub in Park City, demonstrating our commitment to the wellness of those community members who keep traffic flowing to and from Park City while reducing the overall number of cars on the road.
Fruit Ninjas in at locals’ ticket pickup in Salt Lake City
On Saturday, Jan. 19, hundreds of Salt Lake Valley residents lined up at Trolley Square to pick up their highly coveted Sundance tickets. During this activation, representatives from U of U Health promoted healthy living by giving away free apples to individuals as they waited in line to secure their Sundance Film Festival passes, buy individual screening tickets, or pick up Best of Festival tickets.
Training for Sundance staff
U of U Health leveraged its expertise to provide crucial first aid training to Sundance Film Festival’s 60-70 full-time staff members, who in turn oversee more than 2,500 volunteers. Janet Cortez, trauma program manager, and Zach Robinson, former AirMed paramedic and current trauma outreach and injury prevention coordinator, led Sundance staff members in Stop the Bleed and basic first aid training. Barry Rose, University Neuropsychiatric Institute crisis line manager, later conducted de-escalation training for the same staff members, a critical service at one of the world’s preeminent film festivals. UNI professionals will be on hand throughout the festival during screenings of certain films to provide a similar level of training. Read the KSL story about how Sundance staff learn to care for others “the Utah way.”
Winter wellness tips distributed throughout the festival
Utah residents know how to deal with snow, ice and high altitude. But the tens of thousands of Sundance Film Festival visitors don’t necessarily—until now. U of U Health provided official Festival Wellness Tips to Sundance staff and volunteers, Lyft drivers, and festival attendees, all in a handy one-page format easy to save for future use. With these brochures distributed around the Sundance Film Festival, U of U Health defined itself as the expert in community wellness, for locals and visitors alike.
U of U Health gloves for Sundance volunteers
Speaking of wellness, if you attend Sundance, look for official volunteers via their black-and-white branded U of U Health gloves, which come complete with touch finger capability.
Ticket giveaways for students and staff to a Sundance screening
You might be asking, “How does all this affect me?” Great question. U of U Health will coordinate several different ticket giveaways throughout the Sundance Film Festival specifically for U students and staff. Stay tuned to social media for details (and don’t miss our partnership posts distributed through Sundance’s official social media channels, which reach a combined audience of nearly two million users). Follow U of U Health on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Press credentials for local journalists
Yes, we like to spread the word about all of these great partnerships, so we invited journalists from around the Salt Lake Valley to get a firsthand look at how U of U Health teams up with Sundance. Stay tuned for their stories.
Whew—that’s a lot. But at the end of the day, each of these sponsorship components reinforces the fact that the University of Utah is an integral part of our city and our state, standing shoulder to shoulder with the filmmakers, major brands and attendees from all over the globe who flock to Sundance Film Festival each year. We hope to see you there.