As part of its ambitious plan to hold in-person events there later this month, the Sundance Film Festival this year canceled the traditional hub of Park City in Utah. Instead of red carpet premieres, parties, and panel discussions, the 2022 festival will be largely virtual.
As a result of the fast-moving Omicron variant, festival organizers have made the 2022 festival mostly virtual for the second consecutive year.
Last year’s festival was considered by many to primarily be a success, helping more people than ever to experience the artistry of the festival from locations around the world.
“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,” the festival said in a statement.
“This was a difficult decision to make. As a nonprofit, our Sundance spirit is in making something work against the odds,” the statement said. “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.”
More than 80 feature films have been added to the festival’s program, announced early in December. Documentaries include films on Bill Cosby and Kanye West. Lena Dunham’s first film in a decade, “ Sharp Stick”, will debut along with Amy Poehler’s film about Lucille Ball.
Also on the card is a film that details the rivalry between boxers Julio César Chávez and Oscar De La Hoya that was directed by Eva Longoria Bastón.
There will still be 11 days of programming during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, beginning on January 20th. Single tickets will be available for purchase on Jan. 12 for members and Jan. 13 for the general public. All purchasers who purchased passes, packages, or tickets for the canceled in-person events will receive updates from the festival.
History of the Sundance Film Festival
The First Sundance Film Festival began in September of 1978 in Salt Lake City with a remarkable repertoire of classic films that included Midnight Cowboy, Mean Streets, Deliverance, and A Streetcar Named Desire.
The association of Robert Redford with the festival helped the team attract the attention of studios and distributors who probably wouldn’t have otherwise called. The inaugural competition featured eight independent films from largely unknown filmmakers, in addition to the high-profile ones: six competitive films and two ‘honorable mentions’ that were added at the last minute.
After the festival ended, attendees were almost unanimous in agreeing that the event had been a success. Great crowds attended, and some shows attracted lines around the block.
In 1985, the Sundance Film Festival moved to Park City, and tens of thousands of film lovers from all over the world visit every January to experience it.
“The intimacy of Park City helps to create just the right atmosphere for the Sundance Film Festival. The juxtaposition of the winter weather, especially the snow, to the warmth of the screening rooms and the storytelling that happens there, greatly contributes to the magic that happens in Park City during the ten days of the Festival each January,” says Jill Miller, Sundance Institute’s managing director.
“Park City has achieved such international notoriety as a world-class ski destination and site of the 2002 Olympics,” Miller continued. “The Festival’s growth in attendance and visibility over the past 20-plus years has also added an international cultural flare to the City. It’s the perfect fit for our event, and we are thrilled to call Park City the official home of the Sundance Film Festival.”
Hope To See You Next Year
We’re disappointed that we won’t be celebrating the festival in person with you this year. But that doesn’t mean Park City isn’t an exciting place to visit and perhaps buy a vacation home in. There is still plenty to explore and do!
If you wish to learn more about Park City Real Estate, please visit Jensen and Company today. Locally rooted in the community, Jensen and Company is the one-stop shop for all things Park City real estate.