Utah Pushes to Keep Sundance in State: ‘Utah Will Best Assure the Sundance Film Festival’s Continued Growth’ SuperNayr

In April, the Sundance Institute announced its intentions to consider alternative locations for its film festival outside of Park City, Utah starting the year 2027 and beyond. Since then, multiple bids have been entered by cities hoping to take over hosting duties including huge metropolises like Atlanta, San Francisco, and Chicago, and even smaller cities like Buffalo and Santa Fe. However, Utah isn’t going down without a fight. This week it was reiterated that the Sundance Institute is allowing the state of Utah to go forward as a viable option for the festival, though a specific city has not been selected yet.

Plans to keep the festival in Utah were spearheaded by state leaders Gov. Spencer Cox, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Park City Mayor Nann Worel, Utah Film Commission Director Virginia Pearce and Park City Chamber of Commerce CEO Jennifer Wesselhoff, all operating under the banner of the Utah Sundance Film Festival Host Committee. The committee will have to present a proposal to Sundance by June 21.   

Hideo Kojima
WESTWOOD, CA - MAY 19:  Director Drew Pearce attends the premiere of Global Road Entertainment's 'Hotel Artemis' at Regency Village Theatre on May 19, 2018 in Westwood, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

In a statement on behalf of the committee, Utah Film Commission Director Virginia Pearce said, “We’re committed to collaboratively re-imagining future festivals, inspiring film enthusiasts, and preserving the Festival’s connection to its home state. Our shared 40-year growth and success have greatly contributed to Utah’s culture and economy and have fostered a proven partnership in the film industry. Most importantly, we believe that continuing in Utah will best assure the Sundance Film Festival’s continued growth and long-term success.”

At the time the possible separation from Park City was announced, Director of Sundance Film Festival and Public Programming Eugene Hernandez said, “We are in a unique moment for our Festival and our global film community, and with the contract up for renewal, this exploration allows us to responsibly consider how we best continue sustainably serving our community while maintaining the essence of the Festival experience. We are looking forward to conversations that center supporting artists and serving audiences as part of our mission and work at Sundance Institute, and are motivated by our commitment to ensure that the Festival continues to thrive culturally, operationally, and financially as it has for four decades.”

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