Tracie Darcey spent a recent evening being briefed on crowd control and brushing up on the computer program for Sundance ticket sales.
"People who come to the films here are just so excited to be part of the festival," said Darcey, 41, of Syracuse, volunteering for her second year at Sundance in Ogden. "The volunteers are like a close-knit family. I have been counting down the days until I could be part of this again. In Ogden, it's less about celebrities and more about the films."
Sally Coolley, of Clearfield, is in her fifth year as a volunteer.
"I love the anticipation of what films are going to be like," said Coolley, 66. "I've met people from all walks of life, working for Sundance. I've seen films I would never have seen otherwise, and I haven't been disappointed yet."
The Sundance Film Festival, based in Park City with satellite sites in Ogden, Salt Lake City and Sundance, begins a week from today. Among the 14 films coming to Ogden are star-studded premieres, insightful documentaries and films from around the world.
"This really is a stellar lineup for Ogden," said Brooks Addicott, the festival spokeswoman. "I would go out on a limb and argue this is the strongest lineup to come to Ogden to date."
Sarah Pearce, Sundance director of operations, said several factors go into choosing films for the Ogden venue. Film format was a major consideration until last year, when Peery's Egyptian Theater purchased a digital projection system.
"It was a good investment made in Ogden," Pearce said. "With the economy and budget limitations on filmmakers, it was getting harder to get a great program together on film."
Ogden often gets audience-pleasing films rather than edgy, limited-appeal programming. But that is not because of any concerns about Ogden filmgoers' sophistication levels, Pearce said.
"Ogden has a big theater, and we know certain attractions are more likely to draw large audiences," Pearce said. "We like people to see films in a full house because it adds to the experience. With more people in a theater, it's more exciting, and it feels like more of a celebration."
So Sundance once again booked films in Ogden that should be of broader interest than those the festival might book into a 150-seat Park City venue.
Sundance also offers a military discount, to draw in audiences from Hill Air Force Base.
And, for Ogden, Sundance has added a sponsorship program for area businesses. Interested business and government entities can pay a little more for a block of tickets, and be acknowledged as a sponsor. Those participating so far are Zucca, Roosters Brewing Company, the Merchants of Old Town Eden, Egyptian Theatre Foundation, Downtown Ogden Inc., and Hill Air Force Base.
"We're hoping with extra marketing, the theaters will be full," Pearce said.
Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper said Peery's Egyptian Theater donates use of the space, and because of that, the festival doesn't lose money on Ogden.
"We do basically break even in Ogden," he said. "Not all the screenings are full. It would help if they were, which is what we hope to do with the extra marketing efforts. There are a lot of other benefits to being in Ogden. We just hope we can get more people in the seats."
SUNDANCE IN OGDEN FILMS
* "The Guard" -- 9:30 p.m. Jan. 21. A village cop in Ireland, who does not work well with others, is forced to collaborate with a strait-laced FBI agent chasing an international drug-smuggling ring. Don Cheadle. Ireland. This film is getting a lot of Sundance buzz.
* "Project Nim" -- 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22. Nim is the chimp who, in the 1970s, was raised and nurtured like a human child and taught to use sign language. The film is about Nim and his effect on the humans he met. United Kingdom.
* "In a Better World" -- 9:30 p.m. Jan. 22. A doctor who treats victims of brutality at an African refugee camp comes home to a small Danish town, where his son is being bullied. Denmark, Sweden. With subtitles.
* "The Ledge" -- 3:30 p.m. Jan. 23. A young hotel manager plans to jump off a high-rise to his death, and a detective with his own personal problems is dispatched to the scene. Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard. USA.
* "Win Win" -- 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23. A struggling attorney who volunteers as a high school wrestling coach takes on the guardianship of an elderly client, and the man's grandson arrives to complicate matters even more. Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor. USA.
* "My Idiot Brother" -- 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24. Optimist Ned always finds himself in trouble and/or jail. When he turns to family, he is passed from sister to sister. Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel. USA.
* "The Music Never Stopped" -- 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25. A man who ran away as a teen turns up in a hospital, with memory loss. His father, who hated his son's rock music, must embrace the music in hopes of connecting with his damaged, estranged son. Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Lou Taylor Pucci. USA.
* "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" -- 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26. Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock offers a tongue-in-cheek examination of product placement, marketing and advertising by making a film financed entirely by product placement, marketing and advertising. USA.
* "Perfect Sense" -- 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27. When Susan, an epidemiologist, emerges from an affair gone sour, she meets a new man. But she also sees a patient suffering with a disease soon to be a pandemic. Ewan McGregor, Eva Green. United Kingdom.
* "Like Crazy" -- 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28. An American and a Brit, in college in California, fall in love and struggle with the realities of a long-distance relationship. Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Alex Kingston. USA.
* "I Melt With You" -- 9:30 p.m. Jan. 28. Four former college friends gather for a weekend -- fueled by sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll -- that drives them to confront the personal choices they've made. Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay. Canada.
* "Bobby Fischer Against the World" -- 3:30 p.m. Jan. 29. Chess player Bobby Fischer, a child prodigy who became delusional and paranoid as an adult, is shown in his final chapter, as a fugitive. Canada, USA. In English, and Russian with subtitles.
* "Margin Call" -- 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29. This thriller follows key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore. USA.
* "Life in a Day" -- 9:30 p.m. Jan. 29. This documentary, supported by Youtube, is the result of a global project to capture on camera moments of people's lives, on July 24 of this year. United Kingdom. English, and other languages with subtitles.
One of Ogden's Sundance films is already sold out, although at least some film lovers should be able to get in through the wait-list system.
Here's how it works: If there are no tickets for your desired film, be in line two hours prior to curtain at Ogden's box office at Peery's Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd.
You will be given a number and told when to return. Available tickets will be sold, in numerical order, to those on the wait list.
Ogden's only current wait-list film is "My Idiot Brother."
Tickets are available for all other Ogden films, and can be purchased during box office hours, noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Jan. 29, excluding Jan. 23.
Ogden is the only Sundance venue that still has tickets available for "The Guard," "Project Nim," "The Ledge," "The Music Never Stopped," "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold," "Margin Call" and "Life in a Day."
"Win Win" and "Perfect Sense" are sold out in all Sundance venues except Ogden and Salt Lake City.