Sundance Film Festival Unveils Plans for Socially Distanced 2021 Edition

The next edition of Sundance Film Festival will take place in Park City, Utah — and New York, and Ohio, and Tennessee, and Kansas, and California, and Florida.

The 2021 festival, which runs from Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, is rolling out in numerous cities across the country as the annual gathering goes virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Sundance Institute outlined plans for the digital event, which will also include screenings at drive-in theaters, independent arthouse cinemas and cultural organizations.

In keeping with tradition from past Sundance Film Festivals, movies will premiere throughout the day starting on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. Mountain Time. Each of the 70-plus feature films will debut in a dedicated time slot, followed by a live Q&A with key creators and talent. Multiple films will be showcased about every three hours between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Mountain Time. All movies will return to the online platform two days after their premiere for a second screening, offered on demand for 24 hours.

“The core of our Festival in the form of an online platform and socially distanced cinematic experiences is responsive to the pandemic and gives us the opportunity to reach new audiences, safely, where they are,” Jackson added. “And thanks to a constellation of independent cinema communities across the U.S. we are not putting on our Festival alone. At the heart of all this is a belief in the power of coming together, and the desire to preserve what makes a festival unique — a collaborative spirit, a collective energy, and a celebration of the art, artists, and ideas that leave us changed.”

Sundance has yet to announce the films that will debut at this year’s festival, but Jackson expects the lineup will be announced in mid-December. She stayed mum on any potential premieres, but hinted that filmmakers are enthusiastic about the hybrid 2021 event

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