The Sundance Film Festival in January will be a little more expensive for film lovers.
The festival organizers have increased the price of a ticket to a screening to $20, up $5 from the $15 that had been charged since 2007. The increase, 33 percent, has not been widely publicized. Early promotional materials posted on the festival's website note the $20 price.
Pre-festival individual tickets are not scheduled to go on sale until January, with the busiest time at the box office starting with the locals-only purchasing period.
Sundance said this week the higher price is needed to offset the increasing amount of money required to organize the festival, which has long been seen as one of the top events on the independent-film circuit.
Linda Pfafflin, a Sundance associate director who oversees ticketing and customer service, noted the seven years between the 2007 increase and the one that is set for 2014. She also said the cost of some packages and passes has not increased in 14 years.
"The funds generated from this adjustment will help us meet rising costs associated with putting on the festival," Pfafflin said in a prepared response to a Park Record question. "We are committed to keeping the festival accessible for all audiences so we will always weigh the decision to increase prices carefully and balance them with rising costs."
According to Pfafflin, revenues from the sale of individual tickets, passes and packages do not cover the cost of organizing the festival, meaning that Sundance will continue to court sponsors even with the price increase.
The promotional materials on the Sundance website indicate the cost of a ticket bought in a wait-list line will remain at $15. The materials also say Sundance will introduce a new procedure for wait-list tickets in 2014. Details will be outlined in the fall, according to the promotional materials.
Sundance organizers have said for years tickets are priced competitively with other top-tier festivals. They also say audiences during Sundance enjoy a unique opportunity for question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers and casts at the end of the screenings.
Ticket prices have risen over the years, from $10 starting in 2003 to the $15 that was charged for the first time in 2007. Sundance employed a tier system before 2003 that priced premiere screenings slightly higher than others.
The 2014 festival runs from Jan. 16 until Jan. 26. More information about ticketing is available on the Sundance website. The direct link to the ticketing page is: www.sundance.org/festival/tickets .
The organizers of the Slamdance Film Festival, which runs alongside Sundance in January, meanwhile, have not set ticket prices yet. In 2013, Slamdance charged $12 for a feature film and $8 for a block of short films.