The Sundance Film Festival Will Partly Be Held Online And In Nationwide Theaters In 2021


A standard during the start of a cinematic calendar, the Sundance Film Festival takes place in Park City, Utah, each and every January. Now, 2021 seems a long way off, but the fest is already starting to plan for how the latest edition of Sundance can still go on. Of course, much will depend on what the Coronavirus situation is, as there won’t be a festival if there’s a pandemic still occurring. However, if COVID-19 allows (admittedly, a big if), the powers that be are Sundance are planning for a way to be as minimally impacted as possible. Read on for more on these plans…

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sundance will incorporate a few new wrinkles for their upcoming festival. For one thing, there will be an online component for the first time, which is basically a requirement for any fest currently. Beyond that, theaters around the country will also be able to take part, presumably all in the hopes of spacing people out. Whether it works or not, we’ll see, but it’s at least an idea worth considering.

Here’s a bit from their story:

Newly-installed Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson is pushing ahead with her event’s 2021 edition, but is weighing physical and digital options for the festival amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Although it is fair to say that I had not factored a global pandemic and an international reckoning around racial justice into my job application, I did know that as we write the next chapter in the incredible history of the Sundance Film Festival I would want to pose a slightly counterintuitive question: “Where do we begin?” Jackson asked in an festival blog posted on the Sundance Institute website.

Expect a first-time online component for Sundance. “At the center of all our planning, the 2021 Sundance Film Festival will have an online home, making the festival accessible in a way it never has been before,” Jackson said.

The 2020 edition of Sundance took place last January in Park City as the Utah mountain resort welcomed festivalgoers from around the world to crowded movie theaters as the global coronavirus spread began to grab media headlines. Sundance organizers, while acknowledging they were “fortunate” to pull off this year’s event, don’t want to take public health risks next year.

So while the prestigious film festival will continue to be based in Utah, Sundance will also align with at least 20 indie and community cinemas across the U.S. as it looks to build a “grand partnership of communities.” Sundance is in early talks with cinemas in Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Louisville, Nashville, Atlanta, Detroit and Mexico City.

Stay tuned for more when we have it.

(Source: THR)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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