ALL NEWS

Sundance Film Festival moves entirely online due to rising COVID cases

Jan 5, 2022, 1:45 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm
Sundance online...
Sundance Film festival cancels all in-person events and moves entirely online. Photo: Lee Benson / Deseret News

PARK CITY, Utah — Sundance just announced plans to cancel all in-person events for the 2022 film festival. Although, this year was meant to be an in-person and online hybrid, organizers have concerns about surging COVID-19 numbers. 

Just a few weeks away from the festival, organizers announced the change in an update. The 2022 Sundance Film Festival will be exclusively online. 

Festival organizers explained that despite adopting the most ambitious protocols, the unexpectedly high transmission rates of the omicron variant pose a serious threat to health safety in travel and in-person events.

Omicron drives Sundance Film Festival online

The announcement came just after the Utah Department of Health announced the state’s highest daily COVID-19 case count to date. With omicron surging, Sundance said it’s not safe or feasible to gather thousands of artists, employees, volunteers and more from around the world for the 11-day event.

Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente and Festival Director Tabitha Jackson issued a joint statement that reads, in part, “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.” 

In the update they wrote, “as a nonprofit, our Sundance spirit is in making something work against the odds.”  However, organizers expressed they cannot knowingly put their staff and community at risk.

Other organizations are saddened, but support the decision

Organizations that work closely with Sundance organizers say they applaud the decision, although there is something special about being at the festival, in person. 

Park City Film Commission Director Katherine Wang says, “I applaud their decision.  I know it was an incredibly hard decision for them to have made.”

Wang says vendors and volunteers had growing doubts that the in-person events would be allowed to continue as they watched Omicron variant cases continue to rise.

“It just became increasingly clear that that was not going to be possible to the rest of us.  I think Sundance had to make that hard decision,” she says.  “Absolutely, festivals will come back when it’s safe and we’re safely ale to do that.”

Wang has high praise for Sundance’s 2021 festival, which was also strictly online.  She says access to the events was, in a way, better than it is in an in-person setting.

“If you missed a Q&A, which often happens in a live festival if you have to run off to another film, you could go back and watch the Q&A at a later time,” Wang says.

 

Other Stories:

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Team owner Dell Loy Hansen and Utah Royal players. Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News...
Adam Smalls

Former Utah Royals owner and coach named in women’s soccer abuse investigation

The former Utah Royals were named in a report alleging that the National Women's Soccer League has contributed in abuse of players.
9 hours ago
Intermountain drone delivery...
Chris Jacobs

Intermountain Healthcare and Zipline launch drone delivery service

A new drone delivery system by Intermountain Healthcare and Zipline is unveiled on Oct. 4. The program will service the Salt Lake Valley.
9 hours ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) with Ukrainian separatist regional leaders Vladimir Saldo (L),...
Olga Voitovych and Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Russian Parliament begins process to rubber-stamp annexations as Moscow struggles to define borders

Despite there being no set boundaries, Russia's parliament began the process of approving Vladmir Putin's decision to annex part of Ukraine.
9 hours ago
Zachary Snarr Yvette Rodier The Letter suvivor guilt...
Amy Donaldson

“The Letter” – Survivor guilt after the death of Zachary Snarr

Surviving the shooting that claimed the life of Zachary Snarr stole the small things and gave Yvette Rodier a type of guilt she didn't expect.
9 hours ago
FILE - This photo provided by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un del...
Yoonjung Seo, Emiko Jozuka, Junko Ogura, Brad Lendon and Simone McCarthy, CNN

Japan issues rare alert as North Korea fires missile without warning over main island

The US Indo-Pacific Command also released a statement saying American commitments to the defense of Japan and South Korea "remain ironclad."
9 hours ago
NWSL...
David Close and Eric Levenson, CNN

Investigation finds systemic abuse, misconduct within women’s professional soccer

The report was based on more than 200 interviews and reveals the National Women's Soccer League failed to provide a safe environment for players.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Sundance Film Festival moves entirely online due to rising COVID cases