In light of uncertain times, the Sundance Film Festival has outlined a drastic new form for its 2021 event. In taking into consideration a world without a COVID-19 vaccine, new festival director Tabitha Jackson has issued a lengthy statement outlining the Sundance Film Festival’s approach to 2021.
The primary change to the festival’s form is in its location. Traditionally set in the picturesque ski town of Park City, Utah, for 2021 the festival will expand to some 20 cities across the United States and beyond. Despite the fact that Utah is «open for business», the reality of travel, shuttling, and packed queues and streets do not fall in line with the necessary public safety precautions of the COVID-19 era.
With this new form, the foundations of the Sundance Film Festival remain in Utah, with its 40 year+ host city hosting the full screening programme, however, partners will also host a bespoke slate from the official selection alongside complementary programming of their own. So far, cities being considered to include Los Angeles, Louisville, New York, Nashville, Austin, Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis, and Mexico City.
Furthermore, Sundance Film festival 2021 will launch an all-new online platform where audiences can view films, and take part in discussions and special live events.
With that, Sundance Film Festival 2021 looks to this hybrid, touring model driven by its values of inclusion, equity, and accessibility. Further changes may occur, including a shift to a 28 January 2021 start date in lite of the US Presidential elections, but no such official announcement has been made. Submissions for the Sundance Film festival 2021 remain open.
Featured Image: © 2012 Sundance Institute | Photo by Jonathan Hickerson.