Sundance Film Festival issues COVID-19 precautions ahead of return

Staff and volunteers will be required to mask and take weekly COVID-19 tests

The Sundance Institute said on Tuesday staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks and take weekly coronavirus tests during the film festival. Those attending the festival are asked to do the same.
Park Record file photo

The Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday released new information about its January return to Utah amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers outlined COVID-19 safety precautions in the months leading up to the event as they prioritize creating a space that allows the community to watch films together. In May, they announced the event would be hybrid after two years of virtual screenings, but details hadn’t been released until this week.

According to a press release, all staff and volunteers working the festival will be required to wear masks and take weekly COVID-19 tests. Attendees are asked to wear masks in all Sundance spaces and test negative before attending to prioritize the health and safety of all festival-goers. COVID-19 vaccinations are not required to attend, but they are recommended. The Sundance Institute will also work with a COVID-19 safety team to ensure all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are met.

“We are excited to bring the Sundance community together for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, a celebration of independent filmmaking. After two years of being apart, our priority is reuniting in person, while still sharing bold new films with audiences across the country through online access,” Joana Vicente, the CEO of the Sundance Institute, said in a statement. “We’ve designed this year’s Festival based on our learnings from previous years — embracing the traditions that have been meaningful in the past, while also looking toward accessibility for audiences and expanding the platform we provide our storytellers.”

The festival is scheduled from Jan. 19-29 in Park City and Salt Lake City with in-person and online screenings – which open nationwide on Jan. 24 – panel discussions and other special events. The lineup includes world-premiere feature and short films, episodic work and a full New Frontier program, which expands on the previous two years. This year’s Sundance Award-winning films will be screened in-person and online during the last weekend of the festival.

“We can’t wait for our 2023 Festival to give a bold start to the year, with the help of our inspiring storytellers, ingenious creators, and engaged audiences,” Kim Yutani, the director of programming for Sundance, said in a statement. “For 39 years, the Sundance Film Festival has been a stalwart in the independent film community, and we’re thrilled to continue to be such an exciting annual gathering for artists and audiences.”

The Sundance Institute has not released how many events will be in person or virtual, but the first half of the event will be in-person until online screenings commence. A spokesperson in May said there is a large in-person presence planned in Park City. Information about ticket packages and venues will be announced in late September, according to the release.

The submission window for the 2023 festival is open now. Visit for more information.


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