Another year, another fun-filled 10 days are happening at the Sundance Film Festival in snowy Park City, Utah — and PEOPLE is there to capture all the behind-the-scenes action.
Celebrities like Dakota Fanning, Jane Fonda, Nicholas Cage and more are braving the frigid weather and flocking to the small town this weekend to interact with their biggest fans and hit up some of the festival’s hottest parties.
Thursday, Jan. 18
2:35 p.m.: Blythe Danner arrives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she is greeted by a swarm of photographers and fans asking for autographs. “Why do I deserve all this attention?” she asks.
11:35 p.m.: Actors Jason Mantzoukas and Nick Offerman ham it up at the Hearts Beat Loud afterparty at the Grey Goose Blue Door on Main.
Friday, Jan. 19
11:13 a.m.: Evan Peters stops by the IndieWire Space to play some Space Invaders in the Pizza Hut Lounge. The 31-year-old actor is in Park City with partner Emma Roberts promoting his film American Animals.
11:35 a.m.: Ted Danson and Danner walk among fans on Main. “We love you, Ted!” an onlooker yells.
12:05 p.m.: Nicholas Cage stops by the Entertainment Studios Suite on Main to discuss his film Mandy. “I don’t think I’ve had a movie premiere here in 40 years, so I’m very excited,” the 54-year-old actor tells PEOPLE.
And when it comes to the #MeToo movement, Cage says he takes “every opportunity I get to work with a female director.” He added, “One of the best movies I ever made was Valley Girl and I just did a picture called Inconceivable with Maria Pulera and there was a strong female cast. I realize that the talent and creativity needs to be heard and supported and cherished.”
2:30 p.m.: Arrested Development alum Alia Shawkat, who’s in town to promote her new film Blaze, flies in from Los Angeles wearing a bright orange hoodie and sporting her short, curly locks. Emmy-winning Master of None star Lena Waithe is also on the flight, wearing a Chance the Rapper number “3” baseball cap.
The two are spotted chatting and laughing together at the Los Angeles International Airport before boarding. Both actresses stop to sign autographs and chat with a throng of fans who anxiously wait by the baggage claim area, which is cordoned off by velvet rope for the special weekend.
2:35: After the duo depart, the crowd begins to stir excitedly as East Bound & Down star Danny McBride arrives from another flight. He stops to sign autographs before being whisked away to his car.
3:15 p.m.: Offerman takes a second to warm up in the IndieWire Space and grabs a hot slice of pepperoni pizza from the Pizza Hut Lounge.
5:00 p.m.: Director Gus Van Sant, Jack Black, Jonah Hill and Joaquin Pheonix promote their film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot at The Grey Goose Blue Door on Main.
8:30 p.m.: Luke Evans serenades Dakota Fanning at an exclusive screening of his new TNT show The Alienist sponsored by the network and Vulture. Playfully goaded by the curator and the audience — which includes Fanning’s sister Elle, 19 — a visibly embarrassed Evans, 38, begrudgingly serenades the room with an a capella rendition of George Gershwin’s “Summertime.” Evans, who proved his vocal abilities in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as Gaston, sounds pitch perfect. At one point during the song, an audience member shouts, “You’re so sexy!”
10:10 p.m.: Ethan Hawke and Rose Byrne mingle amongst fans at the Juliet, Naked afterparty at the Grey Goose Blue Door on Main. Hawke, sporting a thick winter goatee, is in town to promote his latest directorial effort, Blaze. Also in attendance is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Glenn Howerton, who holds court with friends by the fireplace. He is currently starring in the new NBC comedy A.P. Bio.
Party-goers are greeted at the door with cozy hot toddies and Grey Goose Main Street cocktails, a fresh and vibrant twist on the classic spritz is a mix of pineapple juice, club soda, St-German elderflower liqueur, and Grey Goose vodka — bundled up with a cinnamon stick as garnish.
12:10 a.m.: Audrina Partridge arrives at TAO Park City for a girls night out with friends. The small group walks over to their private table to sip on Don Julio 1942 cocktails while dancing to tunes by DJs Mel DeBarge and Vice.When Camilla Cabello’s “Havana” comes on, Partridge throws up hers arms in excitement and starts singing along and dancing with friends.
12:35 a.m.: will.i.am and fellow Black Eyed Peas members apl.de.ap and Taboo arrive at TAO Park City and are greeted with Tequila Don Julio bottle service at their private table next to the DJ booth.
1:30 a.m.: Idris Alba munches on a hot slice of Pizza Hut pizza while DJ’ing at the WME late night party.
Saturday, Jan. 20
10:00 a.m.: Despite the freezing temperatures and falling snow, hundreds gather for the Respect Rally, a Park City event organized to support “all ethnicities, religions, genders, political and sexual organizations” that falls on the anniversary of last year’s Women’s March.
Jane Fonda, Tessa Thompson, attorney Gloria Allred, Lena Waithe, Nick Offerman, Maria Bello, Common and other celebrities brave the weather to rally the crowd with impassioned speeches. “When we are equal, we are not abused,” Fonda, the keynote speaker, says. “This kind of change doesn’t just come about through protest. It comes through organizing.”
2:30 p.m.: Jake Gyllenhaal arrives in style with Acura at the Eccles Theater on Main. The 37-year-old actor, who is promoting his film Wildfire, is greeted by screaming girls as soon as he stepped out. He braves the cold and stops to take selfies with fans outside of the theater.
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