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Sundance Film Festival 2022 Goes Virtual Amid Omicron Fright

The Sundance Film Festival announced it will continue with a virtual edition instead of the previously planned hybrid format due to the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.

In a joint statement posted on the festival’s website, Joana Vicente, CEO, Sundance Institute, and festival director Tabitha Jackson, said there was no choice but to go digital given the increase in business.

“We’ve been looking forward to our first all-hybrid Sundance Film Festival and our teams have spent a year planning a festival like no other. But despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high portability rates is pushing the boundaries of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country.
“And so we’re announcing today that the in-person Utah elements of the festival will go online this year,” the statement read.

However, the organizers assured that the audience will still experience “the magic and energy” of the gala with bold new films and discover new storytellers and connect with artists in the virtual format.

“While it is a great loss not to have the in-person experience in Utah, we do not believe it is safe or feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, contributors, volunteers and partners from around the world for an eleven-hour day festival , while the overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services,” the statement said.

The team said going virtual “was a tough decision to make,” but expressed hope that the 11-day festival, which begins on January 20, will take place as scheduled. The festival is presented by Sundance Organization, a non-profit organization that discovers and supports independent artists and introduces the public to their work.

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The Sundance Film Festival announced it will continue with a virtual edition instead of the previously planned hybrid format due to the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.

In a joint statement posted on the festival’s website, Joana Vicente, CEO, Sundance Institute, and festival director Tabitha Jackson, said there was no choice but to go digital given the increase in business.

“We’ve been looking forward to our first all-hybrid Sundance Film Festival and our teams have spent a year planning a festival like no other. But despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high portability rates is pushing the boundaries of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country.
“And so we’re announcing today that the in-person Utah elements of the festival will go online this year,” the statement read.

However, the organizers assured that the audience will still experience “the magic and energy” of the gala with bold new films and discover new storytellers and connect with artists in the virtual format.

“While it is a great loss not to have the in-person experience in Utah, we do not believe it is safe or feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, contributors, volunteers and partners from around the world for an eleven-hour day festival , while the overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services,” the statement said.

The team said going virtual “was a tough decision to make,” but expressed hope that the 11-day festival, which begins on January 20, will take place as scheduled. The festival is presented by Sundance Organization, a non-profit organization that discovers and supports independent artists and introduces the public to their work.

.

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