The 2021 edition of the Sundance Film Festival have decided to reduce the amount of days of their normally 10-day fest to seven, and pushing the date to January 28-February 3rd, it was announced today.
Although no specifics of what the festival would like in a pandemic era (no one expects us to be post-pandemic by then) with significantly reduced seating, Sundance managing director and CFO Betsy Wallace at the Park City city council meeting on Tuesday lined out severely modified plans for parking needs, ticketing, office space needs and more. The Sundance institute has already laid of 13% of its staff in anticipation of the upcoming festival.
“This is a very, very difficult decision for Sundance to reduce its footprint,” said Wallace. “It’s going to be a tough year.”
New festival director Tabitha Jackson revealed in June plans for multiple scenarios to accommodate reduced seating and theaters, including an online component as the 2020 Toronto Film Festival is planning to do. Park City, Utah normally hosts 120,000 filmmakers, film goers and patrons for Sundance, which won’t be the case for 2021.
With theater seating likely to be capped at 25% capacity throughout the year, and whenever they actually open en masse, Jackson expects a pared down festival that could include out-of-state events and screenings that have long since not been available for Sundance offerings.