In a statement issued Tuesday, organizers said: “We have made the decision to reimagine the 58 live programs we had planned through August 2020,” and that these events “will no longer be in-person gatherings.”
Sundance London, a selection of films from January’s festival as well as industry programming, was due to run May 28-31, while Sundance Hong Kong had yet to set dates. The festival last year was held mid-September.
Other affected programs include the 2020 season of summer labs that was due to take place at the Sundance Resort in Utah, the film music program at the Skywalker Ranch in California, and several workshops.
Most of the programs will be adapted for the Institute’s digital platform Sundance Co//ab, a previously paid subscription service that is now free to all. New sign-ups to Co//ab have doubled in the last two weeks, Sundance said.
“As we prepare for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, we recognize the seismic shifts that are already happening in our field, and the fact that bold, fresh thinking is required,” the Institute said.
“We are in conversations with other film festivals and nonprofits to share ideas, and to ensure that we’re eliminating duplicative, expensive efforts and working as collectively and efficiently as possible to support the filmmakers whose festival premieres and releases didn’t happen this spring, and those whose films are in suspended states of production.”
The Institute’s existing collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts to ensure sustainability in the arts field has been accelerated, and bi-weekly virtual field meetings will be held to address urgent needs raised by artists and peer arts organizations.