Following two years of online screenings due to the pandemic (that’s still ongoing), the Sundance Film Festival is ready to try one of those hybrid models that are so popular these days. The Sundance Institute announced earlier today that the Sundance Film Festival is returning to Park City, Utah, next year. The festival will run from January 19 through 29, 2023.
Per Deadline, next year’s festival will occur online and in-person in Park City. However, they haven’t released much more information on that because it’s only friggin’ May, and we’ll probably be knee-deep in another surge in eight months anyway. Last year, the organizers planned on returning to theaters, but the outbreak of omicron caused the festival to fire up the old online film festival machine.
“We can’t wait to return to our home in Park City and present exciting new work from around the world live and in person,” said Festival Director Tabitha Jackson. “We also have two years of digital exhibition and participation under our collective belt, and are returning to the excitement and immediacy of live events while retaining a powerful online offering.”
Thankfully, like many other businesses and organizations, Sundance has gotten pretty good at organizing an online film festival over the last few years. This is great for people who don’t want to catch long COVID and for people who don’t have the means or ability to schlep to Park City. Accessibility for everyone that wants to participate in the Festival seems to be the order of the day.
And it’s not like doing the festival online has hurt the movies. At Sundance in 2021, Apple paid a cool $25 million for last year’s Best Picture winner, CODA. But that wasn’t the only breakout success. Fellow Academy Award-winner Summer Of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) debuted at Sundance, as did Oscar nominees Mass, Flee, and Passing.