Fully Virtual 2022 Sundance Film Festival Due to Rise in Omicron Variant | WGN 720 radio


(Photo by Charles Sykes / Invision / AP)

PARK CITY, Utah (KTVX) – The Sundance Film Festival, which has been held in Park City, Utah for nearly 40 years and supports artists by building a community for independent storytelling, will be held fully online for the first time in 2022.

Sundance took place both online and in person in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite ambitious COVID protocols, the omicron variant has put a dent in this year’s plans, with its high rates of transmissibility putting the health and safety of participants at risk.

The Sundance Institute released this statement on Wednesday:

“While we are disappointed that we did not deliver the full hybrid experience and come together in person as planned, 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, face-to-face encounters with artists and an innovative and globally accessible social platform and gallery space. Our community of partners will also add a dynamic dimension to the festival with a rich mix of conversations , Talent Talks and Events.

The number of cases is expected to peak in Park City during the festival’s scheduled week, forcing the Sundance Institute to reassess. Ultimately, organizers said they made the move out of concern not only for those in attendance, but also for the more than 1,500 staff and volunteers who work for Summit County Health Services.

The Sundance Institute has expressed enthusiasm for an immersive digital experience, with the festival starting Thursday, January 20, as scheduled. The festival will have 11 days of programming, with some programming adjustments to take into account the programming of the digital platform.

The event’s satellite partners will organize screenings for their local communities from January 28 to 30.

The institute announced that it would be in contact with pass, package and ticket holders for an update on tickets already purchased. Single tickets will go on sale January 13 (January 12 for member presale), as previously announced.

The Sundance Institute was founded in 1981 by Robert Redford and brings together hundreds of artists each January for the annual Film Festival.