Sundance goes virtual for a different kind of film festival

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Normally the Sundance Film Festival means a busy Park City, Utah, but not this year. Photo by by Michael R Perry, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sundance Film Festival is a rite of passage for many independent filmmakers and reporters and critics who cover the movie industry. But this year there will be no standing ovations in Park City screening rooms. 

 Like many other events, Sundance has shifted to a mostly virtual experience because of the pandemic. This means there will be far fewer films on offer to buy. This year there are 60 films seeking distribution, as opposed to 100 last year. 

 The virtual festival also means there won’t be any buzzy premieres followed by late night bidding wars. However, not having to be there in person has democratized the event. This way, more people can attend virtual screenings without having to pay for airfare and lodging in Utah.

There are still a couple of films generating interest going in, including a documentary by Questlove and “Passing,” a feature directed by Rebecca Hall starring Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson. 



Kaitlin Parker