Sundance Film Festival will return on 20 January next year but will be a mixed hybrid of the in-person and virtual event. The event will conclude on 30 January, 2022 and will be held in Park City, Utah, US. This year's edition was an all-virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic. For next year, organisers are working on a safe and accessible festival where audiences, as well as artists, can come together to celebrate and discover new work and each other.
This year's virtual festival was held from 28 January to 3 February under the new festival director Tabitha Jackson who took over for John Cooper. The event saw an audience growth of twice the total audience of the in-person event held every year. Although it had fewer films as compared to the previous years, the online audience joined it from across 120 countries and from all 50 states of the US leading to the surge in audience number.
Around 20,000 people joined the festival through drive-ins and indoor theatres. Also, more than 70 percent of the feature film program played at 40 satellite screens which are run by 20 festival partner cinemas and organisations in the US.
Many record-breaking acquisition deals were forged this year both for non-fiction and narrative titles. Searchlight and Hulu acquired the distribution rights for Questlove-directed Summer of Soul. The deal was inked for $12 million. Similarly, Apple brought the distribution rights for CODA for a $25 million price tag. Both the films had won the grand jury prizes in their respective categories.
This year's fest was just for 10 days but next year it will return to its original 11 days run.
Next year, the festival will also be the first one without CEO Keri Putnam who has resigned in March this year. Currently, no new name has been announced for this post.