Utah celebrates 40th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival

Awards season may well be underway in the US, but despite all the glitz and glamour, the spotlight isn’t just on the hallowed hills of Hollywood this time of year.

With tinseltown sparkling in the afterglow of the Golden Globes, attention turns to a rather more rugged destination – Utah – as the state’s world famous ski town, Park City, plays host the the iconic Sundance Film Festival, now celebrating its 40th anniversary from 18 to 28 January, 2018.

Having just returned for its annual 10-day run, the festival is once again set to bring a host of star power to the Beehive State. 

Home to majestic mountains, national parks and vast expanses of desert, Utah is more than a fitting location for the many big budget films and TV shows that have been shot there, not to mention the USA’s largest independent film festival.

Known in the industry as ‘Natural Hollywood’, Utah has acted as the backdrop for a whole host of award-winning movies over the decades, and to mark the 2018 awards season, and Sundance’s 40th anniversary, we’ve rounded up six of the biggest Utah-filmed movie successes to date:

1) Forrest Gump (1995)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Tom Hanks and Robin Wright

Key Utah Filming Locations: Highway 163, Monument Valley and Mexican Hat 

2) Thelma and Louise (1991)

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon

Key Utah Filming Locations: Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, Moab and Mexican Hat

3) Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (1969)

Director: George Roy Hill

Starring: Paul Newman and Robert Redford

Key Utah Filming Locations: Zion National Park, St. George, Grafton Ghost Town and Snow Canyon State Park

4) Planet of the Apes (1968)

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter 

Key Utah Filming Locations: Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

5) How The West Was Won (1962)

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall

Starring: James Stewart, John Wayne and Gregory Peck

Key Utah Filming Location: Monument Valley 

6) Stagecoach (1939)

Director: John Ford

Starring: John Wayne and Andy Devine

Key Utah Filming Location: Monument Valley 

For more information on Utah’s cinematic heritage, or to plan a visit, please Click Here.

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