Jan 19, 2023 - News

Sundance Film Festival has returned. Here's what's new this year

The marquee sign of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Thursday is the first day of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

  • It will take place in Park City, Sundance Resort and Salt Lake City through Sunday, Jan. 29.

Why it matters: This is the first time the festival is being held in person after two years of going virtual due to the pandemic.

  • Each year, the festival attracts filmmakers, industry executives, Hollywood actors, and independent film fanatics worldwide.
  • In 2020, about 116,800 attended the festival between Jan. 23 and Feb. 2, according to an economic impact study.
  • Of those attendees, nearly 44,000 were from out of state, and spent $135 million in Utah during the festival, per the analysis.

Details: In-person film screenings will be shown throughout the festival. The festival's second half will feature virtual screenings of some films starting Jan. 24.

  • The Premieres section includes the biopic of a gay amateur wrestler "Cassandro" starring Gael García Bernal; "Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie," a documentary about the actor living with Parkinson's; and the thriller "Eileen" starring Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway.

What they're saying: "Everyone at the festival is excited to return to Utah in person and to Salt Lake City in a meaningful way," Joana Vicente, CEO of Sundance Institute, told Axios in a statement.

  • "Sundance is often seen as a place where industry and artists convene to make cinematic discoveries but equally important to our mission is introducing bold, vibrant storytelling to their first audiences in Utah," she said.

The intrigue: This year, the festival is expanding its presence in Salt Lake City by hosting screenings at the Megaplex Theatre at The Gateway "where locals can experience those discoveries in a space they frequent year-round," Vicente said.

Of note: All festival staff and volunteers will be required to wear a mask and take weekly COVID-19 tests.

  • Officials are encouraging visitors to wear masks and get vaccinated and tested for the virus.

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