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Sundance date debate to continue

Negotiations to move the days of the Sundance Film Festival off of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday are expected to continue as Jill Miller, current Managing Director of the Sundance Institute, prepares to step down.

For months, community organizations and businesses have met with Miller in a concentrated effort to resolve the conflict and its impact on skier days at Park City’s three resorts. The Park City Area Lodging Association has been a key party to the talks. Rhonda Sideris, a PCALA board member, said that the next three ski seasons January 2013, 2014 and 2015 will have a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that overlaps with the Sundance Film Festival. With a new managing director stepping in, she said the PCALA was concerned that their efforts over the months may be hindered as the new managing director gets up to speed.

"We don’t want Sundance to go away by any means," she said. "It is very important to this community. But we have been negotiating back and forth and this is the closest we’ve ever come to an agreement."

Sideris said she hopes that an agreement might be reached before Miller’s departure, which may prove difficult according to Miller.

"We have spent several months meeting with key members of the Park City community discussing the feasibility and related risks of moving the Sundance Film Festival off of Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, an occurrence which takes place about 4 out of every 10 years," said Jill Miller in an email interview. "The challenge is that moving the dates of the Festival earlier in January would mean the Festival set up would need to occur the first week of January, when skiers are still in town for the New Year’s holiday."

"Moving the dates of the Festival later in January and into February would mean the Sundance Film Festival dates would conflict with other major international film events," she continued. "Right now there is no simple answer to changing the dates of the Festival but we are committed to keeping the dialogue open with our community partners."

Gina Barker, The Park Record


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