Sundance Film Festival In 2022 Will Run Virtually To Keep Visitors Safe
By Alexa Heah, 06 Jan 2022
The Sundance Film Festival has officially announced that, due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the country, its 2022 event will be held online for the second year running.
According to Rolling Stone, the festival had been scheduled to begin on January 20 in Park City, Utah, but its organizers have scrapped the idea following news of the US recorded over a million daily cases as the Omicron variant surges.
Organizers of the festival said the idea of gathering thousands of artists, audiences, and volunteers for in-person screenings over the 11 days did not seem like a good idea, especially as overwhelmed communities and health providers struggle to offer help to those suffering from the virus.
Despite the main event shutting down, the seven satellite locations elsewhere in the US may continue with in-person screenings, should local conditions allow.
“We have been looking forward to our first fully hybrid Sundance Film Festival and our teams have spent a year planning a festival like no other,” the festival said in a statement. “But despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country.”
However, hosting the event online may not be the worst outcome. The LA Times reported that last year’s festival reached the largest audience in its history via virtual broadcast. This year’s lineup includes over 80 feature films, such as documentaries on Bill Cosby, Kanye West, and Lucille Ball.
Single ticket sales will be open to the public on January 13, though updates for those who already bought passes for in-person events will be released in the coming days.
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