2024 Sundance Film Festival In-Person, Hybrid Plans Announced

The Sundance Film Festival, known for its celebration of independent cinema, is set to prioritize the in-person experience for its 2024 edition. After two successful years of robust at-home online screenings for ticket-buyers and passholders, the festival is making a strategic shift under the guidance of its new Artistic Director, Eugene Hernandez, who co-founded IndieWire.

The Blend of In-Person and Virtual Elements

Despite prioritizing in-person attendance, the Sundance Film Festival will continue to include a virtual component. However, this year’s virtual offerings will be more selective and available during a shorter window compared to previous years.

Online viewing for the general public will only be accessible during the back half of the festival, beginning on January 25 and extending until the final day, January 28. The focus of these online selections will primarily be on films in the five Competition sections, including NEXT. Press and industry members will have early access to these online films starting on January 24.

Additionally, selections from other sections, such as high-profile titles from the Premieres lineup, will also have the option to participate in the virtual platform. The second half of the festival will also provide audiences with an opportunity to catch up on films they might have missed during the opening weekend, following a tradition set in previous editions.

In-Person Premieres and Screening Locations

The festival’s in-person premieres will be held at various venues in Park City and Salt Lake City. In Park City, moviegoers can enjoy premieres at the Eccles Theater, Egyptian Theatre, Holiday Village Cinemas, Library Center Theatre, The Ray Theatre, Redstone Cinemas, and Prospector Square Theatre, with private events at The Park. In Salt Lake City, films will be screened at the Megaplex Theatres at The Gateway, the Salt Lake Film Society’s Broadway Centre Cinemas, and the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.

Festival Schedule and Opportunities

Eugene Hernandez shared important details about the festival schedule in a note to the press. The festival will commence with premiere screenings of each film through Tuesday, January 23, with multiple screenings at various locations in Park City and Salt Lake City. This year, screenings will begin around noon on January 18, encouraging out-of-state attendees to plan their travel on Wednesday to avoid missing any of the opening day events.

Hernandez emphasized that the focus is on creating a festive and formative in-person experience throughout the festival. The inclusion of special programming and additional opportunities to watch all films in both cities during the second half of the festival aims to encourage attendees to stay for more days of Sundance 2024. For those with limited time and resources, the midpoint of the festival offers a great chance to get a taste of everything that Sundance has to offer.

Online Screenings and Competition Films

Regarding online screenings, Eugene Hernandez outlined the plan for access to films during the festival. From Thursday, January 25, at-home screenings will be available for the films in the five Competition sections, including NEXT. Films invited to other sections may also opt-in to screen online during this limited sneak preview window. Press and industry professionals will gain online access to these competition films and others that opt-in starting one day earlier, on January 24.

Diverse Film Selection and Awards Ceremony

The 2024 Sundance Film Festival will showcase over 90 feature films and more than 60 short films, providing a diverse array of cinematic experiences for attendees. The festival awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday, January 26, at The Ray.

Building Community and Welcoming New Artists

Eugene Hernandez is particularly enthusiastic about inviting new artists to join the festival. He encourages them to make the most of the midpoint of the festival when Sundance alumni from the past four decades and the next generation of artists come together to enjoy special events, watch this year’s films, and reconnect with each other on the Mountain.

Conclusion

The 2024 Sundance Film Festival strikes a balance between prioritizing in-person attendance for a festive and formative experience while maintaining a selective virtual component for online screenings. The festival aims to provide ample opportunities for film enthusiasts, industry professionals, and new artists to come together, celebrate independent cinema, and create lasting connections. With a diverse lineup of films and a blend of in-person and virtual experiences, Sundance 2024 promises to be a memorable event for all involved.

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