(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

The real-life couple and writers behind last year’s Sundance breakout THE BIG SICK, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (who also starred), have a great piece in Variety about their first trip to the Sundance Film Festival last year.

You can read the whole article here, but particularly helpful to anyone attending Sundance (which kicks off next week) for the first time are their five tips for what they wish they had known before they went:

1. Eat when you can. Food can be hard to come by, and the restaurants that are open often have long waits. Bring protein bars to tide yourself over.

2. Definitely have hand sanitizer on your person, and use it liberally. Bathe in it. Drink it. Shake someone’s hand, apologize, and immediately use the hand sanitizer. The Sundance flu is a real thing, and almost everyone succumbs to it. Give yourself a shot at being the statistical outlier. (This is especially true if you have a medical condition that you made a movie about that is premiering at Sundance.)

3. Go see other movies if you can — that’s why the festival is there! Most movies you see in theaters are ones you’ve read the reviews of, seen previews for. You’re going in already knowing most of the movie. At Sundance, you can walk into a movie knowing nothing but its name, and discover it as you sit there with a room full of people discovering it too. It’s exhilarating and surprising and irritating and the best way to really watch a movie.

4. Meet and talk to everyone you can. And we don’t mean for networking purposes. It’s just nice to be surrounded by so many film lovers! If you love someone’s work, tell them. Ask them about their favorite films at the festival. Ask them about their favorite films in general. Ask them about how they manage to keep from falling down in the snow. You’ll be surrounded by interesting, awesome people every single moment in Sundance. Use it.

5. Don’t put champagne in the freezer. You’ll forget about it, it’ll explode, and cleaning frozen champagne is nobody’s idea of a fun time.

And to all of our friends and colleagues with projects at this year’s fest–break a leg!