The 2022 Sundance Film Festival will be a hybrid event this year, but for anyone attending the fest in person in Park City, Utah, they must be vaccinated against COVID-19, Sundance director Tabitha Jackson announced Tuesday.
The festival previously announced it would return to physical screenings in Park City, while also continuing with online premieres that will follow films’ physical premieres in Utah. As always, films will premiere in the first half of the festival between Jan. 20-25 and will be followed by additional screenings and events through the end of the festival on Jan. 30. Awards will be announced on Friday, Jan. 28.
Jackson also announced Tuesday that 2022’s Sundance will be slightly larger than last year’s slimmed-down event. Roughly 80 movies will be featured on the main slate next year, whereas just 72 were screened in 2021, down from the typical 120. All official feature film selections will play both in person and online.
Sundance will also continue with its regional cinemas, or Satellite Screens, that were introduced this year, in which 10 theaters across the country offered more opportunities for people to see some of the selected films. Those screenings will run between Jan. 28-30.
“The soul of Sundance has always been in the coming together of a community: around new voices, new work, new forms, and new perspectives,” Jackson wrote in a letter Tuesday. “During last year’s Festival, even when denied the chance to gather in a single place, the power of converging in a single moment was undeniable. We were able to expand the possibility of who could take part. And as we prepare for 2022, we remain committed to this invitation to new audiences.”
The 2021 festival had a record 600,000 people attend virtually and via hub events across the country. In February, the Sundance Institute said the seven-day festival reached a total audience of 2.7 times (168%) more than the typical 11-day version in Utah in 2020 and was viewed in 50 states and 120 countries. Specifically, Sundance said there were 251,331 views of feature and short films and Indie Series through the festival’s online platform or TV apps. The festival then counted an estimated two people per household watching its films, reaching an estimated half a million people.