That’s a Wrap, Park City! @ Wellhaus (Jan. 24-27, 2020)
photgraphy by Aaron Fedor and Ashley Covington
Celebrities, Diversity, Gender Equality and Cannabis Among Highlights of Wellhaus, Festivals’ Zero Waste Health and Wellness Activation
WELLHAUS partnered with two local venues to create a first-ever multi-location brand experience during the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals: the WELLHAUS Spa Experience at the PuraVida Spa at Sky & Main Hotel (201 Heber Street at Main); and the WELLHAUS Lounge at the brand-new Old Town Cellars (OTC, 408 Main Street) from January 24th through 27th during the festivals’ kick-off weekend. The Wellhaus Spa additionally offered unique health & wellness services for the duration of the festival week.
Filmmaker, industry and celebrity guests visited Wellhaus all week for spa treatments, health and wellness products and experiences in a zero-waste environment. The focus lay in diversity and inclusivity, a through line in many of the films and panels at the festivals.
Talent visiting Wellhaus opening weekend included: DINNER IN AMERICA’s cast Kyle Gallner, Emily Skeggs, Griffin Gluck, Pat Healy, Mary Lynn Rajskub, David Row, Hannah Marks, Nick Chinlund, Lea Thompson, Nico Greetham, Lukas Jacob, Sidi Henderson, Lena Drake, Shelby Antel, Sam Ulrich, Jack Ulrich, and Matty Menard; NIGHT HOUSE’s director David Bruckner and cast members Rebecca Hall and Stacy Martin; director Angela Robinson (PROFESSOR MARSTEN AND THE WONDER WOMEN); KJ Smith (SISTAS), and house DJ Lavelle Dupree, one half of famous EDM duo Scooter & Lavelle.
Through the day Saturday, Wellhaus hosted SEED Us Society’s sprawling multimedia presentation. The SEED team, led by renowned conscious entrepreneurs Brandi Veil and Amanda Manares, hosted an experience in mind, body and soul connection, which featured keynote speakers, an “un-panel,” impact investors, community builders, a sound bath exercise, movement and networking, including a talk led by Theodore Adams III, Stan Lee Foundation co-founder.
Sunday featured a packed agenda, starting with Cannacraft’s Cannabis in Hollywood panel, hosted by Care By Design Hemp. Until now, Hollywood cannabis users have remained behind the green curtain. With legalization now in California and over half of the US, more celebrities are not only open, but jumping onto the sudden popularity bandwagon from endorsements to opening cannabis businesses. Cannabis is ubiquitous, but still stigmatized. An April 2018 survey of 800 cannabis consumers revealed that roughly 75% of those polled believe that cannabis consumption is not accurately portrayed on television shows.
This panel examined the Hollywood cannabis paradox: How most of Hollywood uses cannabis versus how it is stereotypically portrayed in filmed entertainment. While cannabis has long been celebrated in movies and soundtracks, the majority of cannabis-loving characters are portrayed as bumbling idiots and outcasts.
These and other issues of the day were discussed by Tiffany Devitt, Chief of Consumer & Government Affairs for CannaCraft; Matthew Elmes, PhD, Director, New Product Development for CannaCraft; Melanie King, Director, Events and Field Operations for CannaCraft; digital filmmaker Fr3deR1cK Taylor, who is currently finalizing a documentary/web series about Michael Jackson and is currently shooting a documentary/web series about Barack Obama and another focusing on female boxers; and flamboyant producer Milan Chakraborty, the “Hollywood Hindu,” whose ASSASSINATION NATION played Sundance in 2019 and who is producing a feature on renowned cannabis holiday 4/20. Wellhaus’ Lucy Rendler- Kaplan served as panel moderator.
Next up was the 16th Annual Asian Pacific Filmmaker’s Experience Panels and Party. The event, organized in part by renowned film marketing executive David Magdael, presented two panels (“Changemakers” and “Truthtellers”) that expanded the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) experience beyond genre, language, and borders. Guests heard from filmmakers and media executives Mahin Ibrahim (The Walt Disney Company); Christina Chou (CAA); Tilane Jones (president – ARRAY); Derek Nguyen (co-founder, The Population); Michelle Sugihara (executive director, CAPE); Bao Nguyen (director, BE WATER – U.S. Documentary Competition); Ramona Diaz (director, A THOUSAND CUTS – U.S. Documentary Competition); and Shalini Kantayya (director, CODED BIAS – U.S. Documentary Competition) as they delved into this new era of AAPI storytelling that is reaching wider audiences.
The event also conferred the Irene Cho Pioneer Award (named for the late, beloved Korean-American Sundance stalwart, Irene Cho) which was conferred on Nina Yang Bongiovi.
The evening concluded with the Film Fatales members reception, celebrating the collective achievements of many of the female filmmakers in the festival, hosted by Film Fatales Leah Meyerfoff. Female filmmakers from the group represented an unprecedented percentage of talent at Sundance.
Wellhaus’ entertainment program concluded Monday evening with an “electrical” pre-premiere dinner for highly anticipated Sundance film, the Alfred P. Sloan Award-winning TESLA, directed by Michael Almereyda. Producers Uri Singer and Isen Robbins (MARJORIE PRIME) joined cast members Eve Hewson, Jim Gaffigan, Rebecca Dayan, Hannah Gross and Kyle McLachlan, along with actress Samantha Lockood and Millennium’s Jeff Greenstein and Jonathan Yunger as well as producers Aimee Schoof and Heidi Jo Merkel at the party.
When it debuted last year, WELLHAUS was the first fully integrated health, wellness and ancillary product concept house during the festival, marking a departure from the typical mainstream consumer brand sponsor activations. Complementing the flagship Wellhaus Lounge was the Wellhaus Spa Experience, operating through the duration of the festivals at PuraVida Spa in the Main & Sky complex at 201 Heber Avenue (at Main Street). The Wellhaus Spa offered full-range professional spa treatments to media, celebrities and the public by appointment daily.
WELLHAUS is wholly-owned and produced by Axcess Wellness, a division of Axcess Entertainment – a global leader in live event, festival and entertainment production for more than 17 years and producer of more than 500 individual film events worldwide. The concept debuted in 2019 with activations during Sundance and SXSW, and expects to tour throughout North America and internationally in 2020 with executions in Malibu, Coachella, Las Vegas, Austin, Toronto, Miami and New York. For more information follow @ThisIsWellhaus on Instagram and visit the Axcess Entertainment website.
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About SEED Us Society
SEED Us is a society of impact investors and innovators who align through mission-driven projects and curated experiential, wellness events, which successfully aims to bring creatives, spiritualists, executives, musicians and industry thought leaders together to steward in the for-benefit economy.
Founder of Being Investments and creator of SEED Us Society Brandi Veil says “a society” that is focused on mission-driven impact can shift culture and impact the world for the better! SEED Us Society’s funding culture creates unique opportunities and experiences that cultivate change and is rewarding to the human spirit and the bottom-line. Health and wellness can be the drivers of the influence marketplace but first, you must experience it to have a cultural shift. If you can influence culture, you can influence the markets! Social Funding for GOOD! Join SEED Us Society today.
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We would like to thank Alexa Oliphant for the media release.