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Sundance Gets Approval to Shorten 2021 Festival Due to Coronavirus

People walk by the Egyptian Theater
George Frey/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutters

Next year’s Sundance Film Festival will be significantly shorter than previous editions of the annual celebration of the best in indie cinema. The news comes after Sundance previously announced that it would upend the way it was hosting the 2021 version of the festival due to coronavirus, adding virtual screenings and talks to the program.

Organizers for the event sought and received approval from the Park City Council this week to trim the festival from 11 days to seven. It will now take place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 — moving back from the original plans to host Sundance from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31.

At the council meeting, Sundance said that it was also limiting capacity in theaters to 25% because of public health concerns. Sundance also asked Park City to wave a requirement that 70% of events be hosted in the mountain community, according to ParkRecord.com.

Sundance previously said that it is considering partnering with cinemas in several other cities to host screenings and events, and is engaged in “exploratory discussions” with theaters in the likes of New York, Nashville, Austin, Detroit, Atlanta, and Mexico City.

The festival officially updated its dates on its website this week. News of a shorter Sundance comes as other film festivals are changing the way they approach events during COVID-19. Fall festivals in New York and Toronto, for instance, will be a mixture of physical and virtual events.