BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Sundance Institute seeks proposals for future location of film festival

Apr 17, 2024, 1:28 PM | Updated: 2:10 pm

Signs are posted for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival on Main Street in Park City on Thursday, Jan. ...

Signs are posted for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival on Main Street in Park City on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

PARK CITY — The Sundance Institute announced Wednesday it is beginning a process “to explore viable locations in the United States to host the Sundance Film Festival beginning in 2027.”

The institute is asking for formal proposals in an initial information-gathering period — “the first step in a comprehensive selection process designed to gather critical logistical information from potential host locations,” according to a press release. This announcement comes as the deadline for contract negotiation between Sundance and Park City, expiring after the 2026 festival, was extended to Oct. 1, so that a new long-term strategic plan could be developed with revenue data from 2024.

At the council meeting to address the contract extension in October, former Sundance CEO Joana Vicente was asked if the organization had a long-term commitment to Park City. Foreshadowing this announcement, Vicente responded, “We’re really asking all questions. In terms of when you go into a new strategic plan, you’re really charting the future.”

Vicente has since stepped down, with former Instagram executive Amanda Kelso taking her place in what Ebs Burnough, chairwoman of the Sundance Institute board, called a “longer and larger commitment.” At the time, she said Sundance’s revenue “has dropped significantly after the lockdown and we’ve yet to see a rebound.”

In the press release, however, Sundance announced it had a record number of submissions this past year, “more than 17,000 from 153 countries — reflecting a continued vitality in the independent film industry.” The business model of an in-person festival has continued to change, with hybrid screening options becoming a regular part of the schedule.

Please read Collin Leonard’s complete story at KSL.com.

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Sundance Institute seeks proposals for future location of film festival