The 2021 Sundance Film Festival will be four days shorter in 2021 due to health concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The festival was approved by the Park City Council to shorten its length from 11 days to just seven days beginning on January 28 and running through February 3.
The festival updated its website this week to reflect the new dates, a change from the originally scheduled date of January 21, after the festival was approved for a one-time change in a council meeting on Tuesday evening, according to the local ParkRecord.com.
A requirement was previously in place that Sundance must take place at least 70% within Park City and the surrounding Summit County in Utah, and the city council agreed to suspend that requirement so that the festival could utilize out-of-state venues in 2021. The council meeting also agreed to a requirement to limit capacity in theaters to 25%.
Sundance and new director Tabitha Jackson previously announced that they were eyeing a date change as to not conflict with the potential presidential inauguration as well as sweeping plans to have the festival take place not just in Park City, where it has called home for 40 years, but in venues across the country.
The news was announced last June, with the festival saying it was in exploratory discussions with cinemas in “LA to Louisville, from New York to Nashville, from Austin to Atlanta, from Detroit to Denver, from Minneapolis to Mexico City.”
Jackson says the festival will be co-created by and for the specific communities and will each host their own slate of films along with their own programming, while the full slate will still play in Park City, and there will also be an online hub for the festival.
Other fall festivals are also seeing smaller film slates and a mix of in-person and hybrid screenings as a result of the coronavirus, while the Telluride Film Festival was canceled.