OGDEN — Sundance Festival fever has taken over the city, with citizens flocking to screenings of in-competition films at Peery’s Egyptian Theater.
One screening ended with a party at the Eccles Center — next door to the theater — where guests were given a flavor of the world they had just seen on film.
“Austenland,” starring Keri Russell, follows the story of a woman who goes to a Jane Austen-themed retreat. The movie screened in Ogden, and the reception that followed featured Box Elder High School theater students dressed in Austen-era clothing greeting guests as they arrived.
“We got together and kind of looked at the theme. One of us had read the book ‘Austenland’ is based on, so that helped,” said Ross Reeder, the marketing director at the Eccles Center.
After the movie screening and a question-and-answer session with the director, Jerusha Hess, and the book’s author, Shannon Hale, guests were directed into a room where a live band was playing. Guests were served glasses of punch and traditional English food, such as tea sandwiches.
“We’d seen it advertised and thought it would be fun to come for one year. It looks like this movie was a great choice,” said Ron Wilkinson, who attended the party with his wife and daughters.
The mood of the party was upbeat, because the film was sold to Sony Pictures for a reported $4 million, making it one of the successes to emerge from Sundance 2013.
“I think it’s a really neat event, and I like all of the fun things that Ogden offers,” said attendee Amy Budge.
“I think more people should get out to this kind of stuff. It’s great that Sundance is here. It does a lot for the town. I love the character that Ogden has, and I love what Sundance adds to it.”
More Sundance screenings will be held at Peery’s Egyptian Theater throughout the week.