Sundance Film Festival will move online this year

Photo: Sundance Film Festival

PARK CITY, Utah, Jan. 5, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Sundance Film Festival announced Wednesday it will move online this year due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We have been looking forward to our first fully hybrid Sundance Film Festival and our teams have spent a year planning a festival like no other,” said a news release Wednesday. “But despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country. And so, today we’re announcing: the festival’s in-person Utah elements will be moving online this year.”

The 2022 festival runs from Thursday, Jan. 20 to Sunday, Jan. 30.

The news release added: “While we’re disappointed to not provide the full hybrid experience and gather in-person as intended, audiences this year will still experience the magic and energy of our festival with bold new films and XR work, the discovery of new storytellers, direct encounters with artists, and an innovative globally accessible social platform and gallery space. Our partner community will also be adding a vibrant dimension to the festival with a rich mix of conversation, talent talks and events.”

On Dec. 23, the festival announced new safety protocols, including the requirement for boosters for in-person attendees.

The Wednesday news release added: “While it is a deep loss to not have the in-person experience in Utah, we do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers, and partners from around the world, for an 11 day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services.

“This was a difficult decision to make. As a nonprofit, our Sundance spirit is in making something work against the odds. But with case numbers forecasted to peak in our host community the week of the festival we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk. The undue stress to Summit County’s health services and our more than 1,500 staff and volunteers would be irresponsible in this climate. It has become increasingly clear over the last few days that this is the right decision to make for the care and well-being of all of our community.”

The festival will begin Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 as planned. The 11 days of online programming will proceed with screening schedule adjustments to account for an online-only schedule. Seven satellite partners will host screenings for their local communities from Jan. 28-30.

“We are thrilled to be able to convene the 2022 edition of the Sundance Film Festival online, building on the success of last year,” the news release said “In addition to reaching global audiences, we forged a path for immersive online experiences that we are building on in 2022. And while we will be proud to again deliver an incredible digital experience of the 2022 festival, our belief in the unique power of gathering in person as an independent storytelling community remains.”

Festival officials will reach out to all pass and package holders and ticket purchasers with an update on already purchased tickets. As previously announced, single tickets will now go on sale Jan. 13 (Jan. 12 for the membership pre-sale) at 10 a.m. MT.


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