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Swag suites abound at Sundance festival

Where there are celebrities, there is swag, and the Sundance Film Festival is no exception. Nearly a dozen gift suites opened their doors Friday afternoon along the Park City Utah's Main Street.

Kate Bosworth, Andy Samberg, Emma Roberts and Rashida Jones are among the famous folks who stopped by the VEVO PowerStation SOREL Suite, where they could indulge in moisturizing facials and lip treatments from Fresh cosmetics and outfit their feet in snow-ready footwear, The Associated Press reports.

"I think we belong here," said Kimberly Barta, global brand director for SOREL snow boots. "It just makes sense."

The company is also offering a 24-hour concierge service that will deliver boots to stars who can't stop by the suite.

At the Alive Expo Green Pavilion, guests could pick up natural skin care products and handmade handbags by Kenyan artisans from Tembo Trading Co.

The Bertolli Meal Soup Chalet served up bowls of hot soup and handed out sunglasses and Lumene skin care products to visitors. Joe Pastorkovich of Lumene said Sundance is the perfect place to introduce the European brand to an American audience. "This festival is about independent film, and we're an independent brand," he said.

Actress Blythe Danner stopped by the Fender Music Lodge, which offered live music and swag including Bear Paw boots and Park Lane jewelry.

Alex Wilson, who produced the VEVO suite, said brands love Sundance because of the concentrated star power and media presence. "In one location for five days, you can't get any bigger as far as names and exposure," he said.

And the number of branded suites keeps growing, too, much to the chagrin of Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford. He lamented that the success of the festival has attracted what he calls "leveragers" who muddle its mission of nurturing and celebrating independent film.

"They come in with their own agendas to use the festival to piggyback their agendas," he said. "It's a free country and there's nothing we can do about that . . . but we have to work harder and harder to point to the fact that this is about the filmmakers."

Many of the gift suites will close by Monday. The Sundance Film Festival continues through Jan. 29.

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