How Will Sundance’s Virtual Festival Affect Film Sales?

”If somebody actually likes a movie and wants to buy it and comes in aggressively, it could make (the acquisitions process) much faster,“ one sales agent tells TheWrap

For the first time in the 43-year history of the Sundance Film Festival, the event will take place virtually. We will hear no heavy breathing pacing up Main Street in Park City, Utah, to get to a screening on time, see no rush of talent and film fans heading into the Eccles for a premiere or long lines outside of restaurants for filmmaker parties.

Perhaps the biggest question filmmakers, sellers and buyers will face is how a virtual festival will impact sales of projects. Not only will films screen without live audiences for distributors to gauge real-world reactions, there will be no more late-night meetings at sponsored lounges or private screenings at filmmaker’s cabins. Will sales take longer or go faster with acquisitions just a Zoom login away? In interviews with multiple sales agents, the expectation was set for a fast and aggressive sales market should a movie create enough buzz.

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Beatrice Verhoeven

Film Editor, Twitter: @bverhoev