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Sundance Film Festival to be held entirely online amid COVID-19 surge

Due to the nationwide surge of COVID-19 cases, the in-person portion of the Sundance Film Festival has been canceled. The 2022 festival will be held entirely online. 

“While it is a deep loss to not have the in-person experience in Utah, we do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers, and partners from around the world, for an eleven-day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services,” festival organizers said in a statement Wednesday.

The festival was set to be held in Park City, Utah, and use a hybrid model that included both in-person screenings followed by Q&A sessions with filmmakers as well as online screenings. Tickets for the now virtual festival, which begins on January 20, will go on sale January 13. Festival organizers said they will be in touch with people who already purchased tickets, passes and packages for the event.

“Today, as we navigate all that the pandemic throws at us we go back to what is certain: Gathering together — in whatever way we can — is profound,” the organizers said Wednesday. “Community matters. We follow the artist. So, we look forward to sharing with you the extraordinary work that fuels our Festival, experiencing it together, and celebrating the artists who will change the culture.”

2020 Sundance Film Festival - General Atmosphere
General view of the Egyptian Theatre marquee and sign on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2020, in Park City, Utah.

/ Getty Images


The announcement came on the heels of the Grammys postponing its January 31 ceremony and the Golden Globes saying it won’t have a live audience or a red carpet. Both awards shows cited the COVID-19 surge.

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Last year, the Sundance Festival was also virtual and had more than 600,000 viewers. 

Over the course of nearly 40 years, the festival has introduced many wildly-acclaimed films to audiences, including “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” “Hereditary,” “Call Me By Your Name,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Get Out.”

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