Sundance Film Festival Power List: 30 People You Need to Know

Victoria S. Barton
Sundance Film Festival Power List: 30 People You Need to Know
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With the Sundance Film Festival beginning Thursday, everyone is making their way to Park City, Utah to experience one of the most dynamic and important weekends in the film world. Of course, we’re not stoked for Sundance based on movie premieres alone—with a slew of A-list parties and events lined up, it’s bound to be a stylish and fun (albeit incredibly busy) weekend for all.
To help you out with the social side of things, we’ve created this guide to help you keep track of the VIPs. This way, you’ll not only be able to recognize the directors and gate-keepers behind some of the festival’s most-anticipated films, you’ll also know what ice-breakers to use when you approach them at an after-party.
From celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Elizabeth Olsen to Sundance executives like John Cooper and the legendary Robert Redford, we’ve compiled the who’s who of this year’s Sundance Festival.
Click through the slideshow above for 30 people you need to know at Sundance! 

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CELEBRITIES: In what's bound to be the most buzzed-about movie from the festival, Ashton Kutcher plays Steve Jobs in "jOBS," which will be premiering on the closing night. Let's see if he can pull off his most serious role yet, and of course, who he'll bring with him (we're looking at you, Mila Kunis!).

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

CELEBRITIES: Joseph Gordon-Levitt will host the Sundance Festival Awards Ceremony this year. The writer, director, and actor also has a film, "Don Jon's Addiction," screening out of competition, and he is current an Artist Trustee of Sundance Institute. Expect to see this famous face all over Park City. 

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

CELEBRITIES: Recent Golden Globes presenter Amy Poehler will be at the festival this year, along with her latest acting venture, "A.C.O.D." with Adam Scott. We're excited to see how the pair interacts outside of their "Parks and Recreation" comfort zone—especially at the after-party!

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

CELEBRITIES: The adorable Adam Scott stars in "Adult Child of Divorce" alongside an all-star cast. The "Parks and Recreation" star will undoubtedly stir some laughs from the audience, and we hope this feature will launch his leading role career. He's set to make an appearance at the flick's after-party on January 23.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

CELEBRITIES: Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg in "Kill Your Darlings." It's a tricky role—the free-spirited poet is a far cry from Harry Potter—but we're betting Radcliffe will rise to the occasion. The former "Harry Potter" star will be doing press appearances all week.

Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

CELEBRITIES: Jessica Alba is part of the star-studded cast of "Adults Child of Divorce," and can be spotted attending this year's festival. Here's hoping she accessorizes her snow bunny style with millions of dollars worth of diamonds, like she did at the Golden Globes

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

CELEBRITIES: "Glee" star Jane Lynch will host at the SAGIndie 16th Annual Actors Only Brunch at Café Terigo on January 20. Expect hilarity, and lots of mimosas.

Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

CELEBRITIES: Ed Harris stars in "Sweetwater," which will be screening this year at Sundance. He'll be attending the after party on January 24, but no word on whether or not his glamorous costar January Jones will be making an appearance.

Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images For Dubai International Film Festival

CELEBRITIES: Ben Stiller will be present for the release of his film, "He's Way More Famous Than You," which has a bash being thrown at the swanky Resorts West House of Luxury.

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images

CELEBRITIES: Jesse Eisenberg, who hit the big time when he played Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network," stars opposite Ben Stiller in "He's Way More Famous Than You." You'll definitely see them partying together following the film.

Photo: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

GATEKEEPERS: Christopher Ryan is basically Sundance's head bouncer and talent manager. He compiles the list of all of Sundance's events and circulates it to the who's who of the Festival. It's a good idea to stay in this man's favor for a chance to be seen and have fun—seriously

GATEKEEPERS: Electric Room owner Nur Khan will be doing a pop-up club for Sundance called "NK," located at 614 Main Street in Park City. Some of the high-profile events he's hosting will be the "jOBS" after party. He's also hosting StyleCaster's own premiere party for the film "May in the Summer," where DJ Asher Roth and DJ Theory will be spinning. It's brought to you by The Vivant and Elle Driver.

GATEKEEPERS: John Cooper, the current director of Sundance, said of this year's lineup: "It's certainly exciting for us to receive 12,000 submissions this year for the first time ever, but more than that, we were really pleased with the overall quality of the films submitted to us." Sounds like there will be heavier competition than ever this year! 

GATEKEEPERS: Mimi Kim and Kenny Griswold are the founders of MorningStar Farms ChefDance, a five-night, invite-only dinner party at Sundance. The tenth ChefDance will feature celebrity chefs and up-and-coming restaurants. Griswold commented that there was a need for something like ChefDance because, "you're running around, ordering a drink, networking, going from screening to screening, trying to get full on a meal of tray-pass. People start conversations but never finish them. ChefDance was created to give people a chance to slow down and talk."

GATEKEEPERS: Trevor Groth, director of programming at Sundance, helps achieve the festival's goal to support independent films from all over the world. Basically, he decides if what you submitted is worthy of the audience's time. 

DIRECTORS: Jill Soloway is best known for her work as a TV producer, with hit shows like "United States of Tara" and "Six Feet Under" under her belt. Her first feature film, "Afternoon Delight," stars Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, and Jane Lynch, and follows a woman that attempts to save a stripper by hiring her as a nanny. We're sure you'll spot this Sundance regular around Park City, so be sure to pick her brain about the quirky plot.

Photo: Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images

DIRECTORS: Richard Linklater is best known for his "Before Sunset" trilogy, with its final installation, "Before Midnight" (which takes place in Greece), premiering at this year's festival. It will be hard for us—and him—to say goodbye to the romantic flicks, so we hope this one delivers.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

DIRECTORS: Rob Esptein and Jeffrey Friedman directed "Lovelace," which is bound to be one of the more controversial films of the Festival. This flick marks the pair's second Sundance film together—they previously directed James Franco in "Howl."

DIRECTORS: Joshua Michael Stern directed "jOBS," which features Ashton Kutcher as the late Apple creator Steve Jobs. After the controversy surrounding his lead actor and his very public break-up with Demi Moore, this director's film will is certainly one of the festival's biggest premieres.

MOVERS & SHAKERS: Hospitality guru Brian Mazza will be hosting the Paige Management Football Viewing Party on January 20 at Retreat in the Sky Lodge. The Sundance regular can always be seen at some of the hottest events. 

MOVERS & SHAKERS: Miramax studio head and producer Harvey Weinstein will be in attendance this year, which means that his stunning wife (and Marchesa designer) Georgina Chapman will no doubt be present as well.

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

MOVERS & SHAKERS: Robert Redford, iconic actor, director, and founder of Sundance, will be hosting The Albuquerque Film and Media Event on January 24, and will of course be making the rounds during the festival.

Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

MOVERS & SHAKERS: Outspoken New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be hosting a benefit to support Sandy victims at The Stone Pony on January 24. With this crowd, we're sure a lot of much-needed funds will be raised.

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

DJs/MUSICIANS: Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters fame) and the Sound City Players will perform on January 18. Naturally, a killer party will follow. 

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for the Global Citizen Festival

DJs/MUSICIANS: DJ Viceroy is scheduled to perform at Goodbye Gansevoort (powered by Vimeo) at Claimjumper on January 19.

DJs/MUSICIANS: One of the biggest hip hop stars to emerge in the past few years, 2 Chainz will perform with Cedric Gervais at Park City Live on January 21 at 9 p.m. 

Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET

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