Sundance Film Festival Changes Format: It’s Coming Down the Mountain!

Sundance Film Festival Changes Format: It’s Coming Down the Mountain!

For 36 years, movie lovers have flocked to Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival. For those who’ve never been to Park City, it’s a precious little ski town some 7,000 feet up in the Wasatch mountains. During the ten-day festival, attendees fill theaters to capacity and huddle together in crowded tents. They pack into shuttle buses and pour into overcrowded bars and restaurants to be part of the festival scene. There’s no place to social distance.

Covid has forced organizers to rethink the festival format

Festival fans are in for a big surprise this year. According to Tabitha Jackson, Sundance director, the 2021 festival is coming down the mountain! Sundance needed to find other distribution channels or cancel the festival altogether, and they decided to get creative.

The difference-maker at this year’s festival: 20 new locales

Besides the original Park City venue, organizers are working with independent cinemas in California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas. Mexico City is also on the list. Participating theaters may augment Sundance selections with complementary programming of their own. Sundance’s “full curated program” would also be made available online. “It will be the nucleus of the festival,” Jackson said of an online platform that Sundance is developing, “a one-stop point of access.”

Ms. Jackson’s plan is about more than accommodating attendees who may not feel comfortable flying to Utah or supporting their corporate sponsorships. The Park City base has been the festival’s strength as well as its weakness. Those who can make the pilgrimage feel like members of an exclusive club, seeing films before anyone else and rubbing shoulders with celebrities. The festival is known for championing women and minority filmmakers, even while diversity among attendees is often lacking.

The festival opens itself up to new audiences and new filmmakers

“We want to reach people whom we have not been able to reach before — where access to the work is not predicated on being able to afford to travel to an expensive place,” Ms. Jackson said by phone. “The world has typically come to Sundance. While Utah will always be our home, we are now trying to take Sundance to the world.”

We must break it to meet the moment

Jackson took over as the festival’s director in February 2020, and she inherited a proud legacy. The Sundance Institute was founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Sundance remains the preeminent showcase for American cinema made outside Hollywood. Bidding wars still break out for online and theatrical distribution rights to festival selections. According to Jackson, “I thought to myself when I got this job, ‘I must not break this. I must not break this.’ But we must break it to meet the moment. We must break it open.”

Meeting the moment . . .

Meeting the moment is a challenge that the coronavirus has presented to all of us. For CDP, “meeting the moment” has meant prioritizing the safety of our team and our clients. We’re working virtually, but we’re still providing a high level of customer service.

Covid has prompted many of our clients to create Living Trusts

While news about the vaccine is encouraging, we’re a long way from distribution. Healthcare professionals are all concerned about infection rates over the next months. Many of our clients are gaining some peace of mind by creating or updating their Living Trusts. Naming your heirs and identifying how you want your estate to be distributed ensure that your family will avoid the painful Probate process if something happens to you.

Our Trust package includes a Power of Attorney and an Advance Healthcare Directive. It also includes a Pour Over Will. For those families with children under 18, this means that they can name a Guardian rather than having the court appoint one for them.

Best of all, we guide you through the entire process, and we prepare the legal documents. At California Document Preparers, for most of our services, we charge one flat fee. Schedule an appointment today.

We service the entire East Bay and North Bay areas

Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole, Alameda, San Leandro, Castro Valley Newark, San Lorenzo, Concord, Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Tracy and Fremont. Our clients also live in the Napa Valley, Benicia, Vallejo, Martinez, Fairfield.

 

janet
jpeischel@top-mindmarketing.com