PARK CITY—The Sundance Film Festival is offering local-only benefits again for the 2012 festival, including free screenings, volunteer opportunities, how-to festival information and registration for tickets happening now.

Exclusive access and priority availability in tickets will be offered to Utah residents. Festivalgoers must first register to receive a randomly assigned time slot to purchase festival passes and ticket packages. Online registration is available now and will end Oct. 12, 2011 at 5 p.m.

The Sundance Film Festival is sponsored by the Sundance Institute, which was founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Known for introducing countless groundbreaking films to the world, the festival draws an estimated 7,500 Utah residents each year.

From those 7,500, the Sundance Institute selects more than 1,600 volunteers to help with everything from theater entrances to shuttle stops. Volunteers receive benefits like being among the first audiences to see world premieres of new independent films.

However, it's not necessary to volunteer in order to enjoy other local benefits.

The public can attend free screenings of a 2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection film on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at the Salt Lake City Public Library, and Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Park City Library. Preceding the screenings, festival staff will offer informative presentations on how to navigate the festival ticket purchasing process and insider tips on enhancing the festival experience. Presentations begin at 6 p.m. and screenings follow at 6:30 p.m.

The screening at the Salt Lake City Public Library, marks its joining of the festival as a venue this year, adding to Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and the Tower Theater among other Salt Lake City venues.

A variety of community programs leading up to the festival will be available as well. Free community events include screenings, script readings, musical performances and discussions from recent and past Sundance Institute Alumni in conjunction with local community collaborators.

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival will be Jan. 19-29, 2012.

For information about the Sundance Institute, Sundance Film Festival, and the volunteering opportunities and community programs they offer, visit

To register for tickets, visit

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