Sundance Film Festival will not hold its annual opening day press conference |

Sundance Film Festival will not hold its annual opening day press conference

Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford addresses the press during last year’s Sundance Film Festival Day One press conference. There will be no press conference this year.
Park Record file photo

The Sundance Film Festival announced Thursday it will not hold its annual opening day press conference this year and will instead send reporters a press kit that will feature video remarks from executive leadership and information about the festival lineup.

Sundance Institute representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

Since the late 1980s, the press conference has kicked off the festival. Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford and other festival leaders would talk about the goal of the festival and answer questions from the press.

Last year’s opening day press conference was notable for Redford indicating he would step back from his role as the face of the festival. After his brief remarks the beginning of the event, he walked off stage.

“Having done this, God, it’s 34 years now since the festival started, I think we’re at a point where I can move on to a different place,” he said. “The thing I’ve missed over the years is being able to spend time with the films, the filmmakers (and) see their work and enjoy their work and be part of their community.

“I don’t think the festival needs a whole lot of introduction now,” he later added. “I think it runs on its own course.”

In June, John Cooper, who has been the festival’s director for the past 11 years, announced he would step down from his post and start in an emeritus director role after the 2020 festival.

“I look forward to remaining a part of this fantastic organization in my new role, and creating a seamless transition for new Festival leadership,” he said in a press release.

Sundance Institute has yet to name a Sundance Film Festival director.

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