Sundance Film Festival is preparing for what the 2021 festival will look like in the face of coronavirus and social distancing precautions. The festival plans were unveiled in a memo released to the public by the festival director Tabitha Jackson.
Given that there has no vaccine yet for COVID-19, the festival, along with other large social gatherings, are preparing to help keep their communities safe while continuing the festival. As of now, socially distanced gatherings are allowed in Utah, where the festival takes place.
The festival has proposed a two-pronged approach to adapt to the COVID-19 environment. They will expand to “at least 20 independent and community cinemas across the U.S. and beyond.” The festival will also have “an online home, making the festival accessible in a way it never has been before,” according to Jackson’s memo.
The memo goes on to state, “But as we plan this scenario, we are building in flexibility, including considering a different start date (January 28) to provide some room between the U.S. presidential inauguration and the start of the Festival.” The festival will take place“from L.A. to Louisville, from New York to Nashville, from Austin to Atlanta, from Detroit to Denver, from Minneapolis to Mexico City. This plan acknowledges the vital role of the independent cinema network in our ecosystem.”