Sundance Film Festival 2022 moves fully online as omicron variant powers another COVID-19 wave

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Filmmaker, artist and writer Miranda July has joined Sundance Film Festival 2022 selection “Fire of Love” as the film’s narrator. Directed by Sara Dosa (“The Seer and the Unseen”), the archival film is the Day One selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition. It tells the story of intrepid French scientists Katia and Maurice Krafft, who died just as explosively as they lived – capturing the most spectacular imagery ever recorded of their greatest passion: volcanoes. [Photo provided]

PARK CITY, UTAH – Due to the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Sundance Film Festival is going fully online.

Originally planned as a hybrid event, the scheduled in-person events were scrapped this week as the highly virulent omicron variant has sent COVID case numbers soaring once again.

“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 11-day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services,” said Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente and Sundance Film Festival Director Tabitha Jackson in a joint statement.

“This was a difficult decision to make. As a nonprofit, our Sundance spirit is in making something work against the odds. But with case numbers forecasted to peak in our host community the week of the festival we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk. … It has become increasingly clear over the last few days that this is the right decision to make for the care and well-being of all of our community.”

Scheduled for Jan. 20-30, the Sundance Film Festival will now be online at Festival.Sundance.org.

“The festival is important not only to the artists and audiences who gather each year, but also as the most essential fundraiser for underwriting the Institute’s  year-round artist support work. We are thrilled to be able to convene the 2022 edition of the Sundance Film Festival online, building on the success of last year,” Vicente and Jackson said in their joint statement.

“In addition to reaching global audiences, we forged a path for immersive online experiences that we are building on in 2022. And while we will be proud to again deliver an incredible digital experience of the 2022 festival, our belief in the unique power of gathering in person as an independent storytelling community remains.”

The previously planned online programming will proceed, according to the statement, with screening schedule adjustments being made to account for an online only schedule. The festival’s seven satellite partners will host screenings for their local communities Jan. 28-30.

For more information, go to www.sundance.org.

-BAM

 

 

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