May 3, 2024 - News

SF eyes bid to host Sundance Film Festival

Illustration of a film strip in the shape of a question mark.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

San Francisco is looking to become the new home of the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

State of play: Sundance Institute, the nonprofit behind the festival, announced last month that it was exploring relocation from Park City, Utah.

Catch up quick: Last year's event drew nearly 87,000 in-person attendees, with out-of-state visitors spending about $97 million in Utah during the festival, per an economic impact report by Y2 Analytics.

  • Yes, but: Attendees have long complained about bumper-to-bumper traffic, frigid temperatures and expensive lodging in the resort town.

What's next: Sundance Institute will select potential cities to submit proposals from May 7 through June 21.

Our pitch: SF has plenty of venues, many of them historic, to choose from. Sundance could screen films at the iconic Roxie Theater or the state-of-the-art Premier Theater in the historic Presidio National Park.

  • And what's great about SF is that the temperature is pretty much always moderate.
  • Sure, it might mean the end of Sundance ski traditions, but there's an opportunity for new traditions to be made. Perhaps sailing in the Bay? Just spitballing here!
  • Plus, the city is desperate for tourism so we would roll out a literal red carpet for the festival.

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