Sundance Film Festival 2021 will be shorter this year due the pandemic. The festival normally runs for 11 days, but this year they’ve cut down the number of days to seven, running from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.
In those seven days, they plan to squeeze in 70 feature films and 50 shorts, which is down from the 118 titles they screened last year.
Besty Wallace is the Sundance Institute Managing Director and CFO. She said the lineup of films will be released soon.
"It comes out in a couple of weeks," Wallace said. "We're excited. It's a little bit pared down. But it is still going to be a wonderful festival, excellent representations from our filmmakers and films."
Sundance has been preparing for a potentially virtual festival for the past ten months. Eventually, Wallace said, they made the decision to move largely online.
"We had to come off of the normal way we do in person theatres and inter person experiences here in Park City and down in Salt Lake," she said. "But the way to do that, for us to stay alive is to showcase these wonderful films that are still being made, we are going virtual as best we can."
Wallace said online screenings will still have a size cap.
"Many people think that once you go digital, it opens up to an unlimited amount of an audience," she said "When you're premiering films, that is not the case. It is a case that the rights holders and the filmmakers set what they want to have as expected screens or seats."
The Ray Theater, in Park City is a usual venue for the festival. This year, it will be the only in-person venue in Park City and will be operating at a 25% capacity.
The festival will also expand out of Utah with Satellite Screens at drive-ins and independent arthouse theaters around the country, which will create and host their own events.
You can register on the Sundance platform ahead of ticket sales at festival.sundance.org. Tickets and passes for the festival go on sale Jan. 7.