Sundance’s film festival has eliminated the person-to-person element of its 2022 programming. Omricron cases are still on the rise.
A hybrid festival would kick off in January 20th, with guests expected to travel to Park City (Utah) to attend screenings and other events.
However, with recent reports revealing that there were 14,700 newly reported COVID-19 cases in Utah, the festival’s organisers made the decision on Wednesday (January 5) to pull all physical gatherings.
“Despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country,”Festival officials released a statement.
It continued: “This was a difficult decision to make. Sundance’s spirit is to make something happen despite the odds.
📢Despite the best protocols, Omicron variants with their unexpectedly high transmissibility rates are pushing the boundaries of safety, travel, and other infrastructures. Thus, #Sundance 2022’s in-person Utah elements will be moving online. More: https://t.co/orExAzKnEu pic.twitter.com/Q93P8p5J9Z
— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 5, 2022
“But with case numbers forecasted to peak in our host community the week of the festival we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk.”
The festival’s online 2021 edition was estimated to have garnered 600,000 views, and according to DeadlineOrganisers are positive that this number will increase in 2022, according to them.
Sundance CEO Keri Putnam said in a statement at the time: “It’s been rewarding to see the way adventurous audiences everywhere engaged with our programme and platform, and of course we are delighted to have met and even exceeded our goal of expanding the reach and community for independent film in this challenging year.
Among the premieres at this year’s Sundance will be Netflix‘s Kanye West documentary Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy.
The three-part Jeen-Yuhs Clarence and Clarence directed it. “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah and was initially revealed by Netflix back in September alongside footage of West rapping his ‘The College Dropout’Follow ‘Two Words’ alongside Yasiin Bey (Mos Def).