Filmed in Utah: Explore the Settings of Sundance Movies
It’s a film buff’s dream — a three-day northern Utah road trip through the mountains, desert flats and cityscapes featured in Sundance standouts such as “Brigsby Bear,” “SLC Punk!,” “Nine Days,” “Hereditary” and “Frozen."
The future of Utah filmmaking forever brightened when Robert Redford took a motorcycle ride up majestic Provo Canyon in the 1950s and caught sight of the dramatic slopes of Mount Timpanogos. In 1961, he purchased land in the very spot, and several years later, opened Sundance Mountain Resort — named for his famed role in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (Watch: Robert Redford Sets the Sundance Scene).
This peaceful, environmentally-minded resort soon became the setting of more than ski turns and summer picnics: in 1980, Redford founded Sundance Institute, a place where independent filmmakers could meet, develop their projects, collaborate with mentors and refine their skills.
The rest is history. In 1984, the Sundance Institute took over the Utah Film Commission’s U.S. Film and Video Festival, based in Park City, and in 1991 officially renamed it to the Sundance Film Festival. The Institute and festival put Utah on the filmmaking map — not only as a gorgeous setting for filming, but as a lively hub for filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike.
This itinerary offers an easy and pleasant road trip that lets Sundance film lovers check out a few memorable film locations, while getting to know a few stunning places around Park City, Salt Lake City and the surrounding mountains. In fact, it’s the proximity and accessibility of Utah’s diverse settings that make it an appealing destination for filmmakers. And all the included locations are well worth visiting in their own right — in fact, they’re probably places you’ll come back to again and again.