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Sundance CEO steps down after two and a half years

Joana Vicente (left) is stepping down as Sundance CEO. Amanda Kelso (right) will be the Acting CEO in the meantime.
Sundance Institute
Joana Vicente (left) is stepping down as Sundance CEO. Amanda Kelso (right) will be the Acting CEO in the meantime.

The Sundance Institute CEO announced Friday she is stepping down.

Joana Vicente is moving on from her role as CEO of Sundance. Sundance reports it was a planned transition and the Institute’s Board of Trustees has appointed Institute Board Member Amanda Kelso as Acting CEO.

Vicente led Sundance for two and a half years. After the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped the Sundance Film Festival come back in person and made it more accessible with an online community. In a news release, Vicente said she wants to “begin a new chapter.”

Kelso previously served as Acting CEO for Sundance in 2021 before Vicente was chosen and said in a release she is honored to return. Kelso has been on the Sundance board since 2020 and has also been the co-chair of the Technology Committee and a member of the Finance Committee. She was also actively involved in the Digital Festival Task Force, helping the organization navigate the pivot to online during the pandemic.

Kelso will transition to the role in April and Vicente will serve as an advisor to Kelso and the board through June.

Sundance also recently announced the 2025 festival will run from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2 in Park City and Salt Lake City.

The contract between Park City and Sundance expires in 2026 and the organization has until Oct. 1, 2024, to determine if it will continue to call Park City home.