Developed in the late 1970s and closely identified with Utah filmmaker, actor, and environmentalist Robert Redford, the Sundance Film Festival has grown steadily from a low-keyed, modestly funded showcase and celebration of otherwise barely promoted and acknowledged independent films to one of the world's premier film festivals, as well as a prominent annual gathering among GLBT filmmakers and their fans. The focus is still every bit on independent films, both American and international, and including a mix of full-length movies and shorts, and both documentaries and dramatic cinema.
The festival takes place primarily in the progressive, upscale ski town of Park City (as well as in nearby Salt Lake City and Ogden, and at Sundance Resort) during the latter half of January - the dates are January 19 through 29 in 2017.
Sundance has screened countless films of queer interest, and become something of a favorite winter event with gay A-listers and creative spirits from West Hollywood, New York City, and many other parts of the world. The festival takes place a few weeks before Elevation Utah - Park City Gay Ski Week, which takes place February 23–26, 2017.
Queer Lounge at Sundance:
The gay presence at Sundance received a major boost several years ago with the launch of a pavilion dedicated expressly as a focal point for gays and lesbians during the festival, Queer Lounge. Although the lounge has since been disbanded, there are other resources out there, such as the GLBT newspaper Q Salt Lake, which publishes a very helpful Queer Guide to Sundance Film Festival.
The Sundance website has loads of information on the 2017 festival, including help with finding hotels and arranging transportation; online ticket sales; and the latest information on film screenings and events. For more information on traveling to the area at this time, take a look at the excellent travel website produced by the town's official tourism organization, the Park City Chamber. Another useful resource is the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau's LGBT travel website.