Just weeks ahead of the festival’s opening, the decision has been made to make this year’s Sundance an entirely virtual event.

January 20-30th will not see Sundance Film Festival go ahead as planned this year, with the organisers electing to cancel the physical component of the event due to concerns about the spread of Omicron. The festival, which was due to take place in Utah, would coincide with the estimated peak of the Omicron surge in the US, and as such, the decision has been made to make Sundance an entirely virtual event this year.

Deadline reports that some sponsors and high-profile guests were already on the verge of pulling out, which helped the festival organisers to make their final decision. So many legendary stories have emerged from the festival over the years where small films such as The Blair Witch Project or Slacker have found their audiences through physical screenings, it’s always sad to hear that the energy of a live audience won’t greet so many of the debuting films. With that said, sensible heads seemed to have prevailed and this is surely the right choice.

Sundance was always planned to be a ‘hybrid’ festival in 2022 anyway, meaning the organisers are well placed to switch over to an entirely digital platform. Whilst local businesses will no doubt suffer, hopefully the films will still get the platform they need and most importantly, festival attendees will be safe. We’ll bring you any news that emerges out of the festival, later this month.

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