Written by By Bobby Allyn, CNN
The Sundance Film Festival will be back in Utah on January 24, 2022, seven years after the organizers last held the event in Park City, Utah.
Organizers said on Wednesday that the future venue will be the arts complex and theater complex, the EnergySolutions Arena and Cove Fort Union Terminal.
The announcement comes after eight years without a film festival at the family-run Sundance Park City, which was co-founded by Robert Redford’s foundation in 1978.
Dana Brunetti, chairman of the Sundance Institute board of trustees, said in a press release that he had been planning the move to several institutions as early as 2015 and that it’s “a fresh new identity that will spark inspiration and creativity in 2019.”
Robert Redford at the 2012 premiere of “The Company You Keep.” Credit: Getty Images
According to the press release, most of the presentation work to be done at EnergySolutions Arena will be done in the first half of next year before the festival begins the second half of 2020.
The festival will be held at a new venue in Park City beginning in 2021, making it the only major arts festival to have two locations in Utah.
“We are excited to hear that Sundance will be moving to EnergySolutions Arena and now the larger commercial complex in Park City,” Mayor Mia Love said in a press release. “It’s another big signal to our international visitors that Park City and the state of Utah can offer an exciting and unique experience. My hope is that the expansion of Park City as a region of activity continues. We have more amenities to offer than ever before and this new focus on Sundance will only add to that.”
Event coordinator Sara Cox said in a press release that she was “thrilled” by the news.
“Sundance Festival has really grown over the past 20 years, and we want to take what we have learned and what’s worked for us in Utah — experience, innovation, and staying true to our mission and values — and change the way we communicate and present to audiences across the world,” Cox said.
Sundance Film Festival has held its annual event in Park City since 1989. The announcement comes as a lot of major film festivals have moved out of major cities. The film festivals in Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and London all have moved over the past few years to sites or towns in other cities.
“We have offered this as a solution for the past seven years, and we are beyond grateful for their continued commitment to Utah,” Sam Toles, governor of Utah, said in a press release. “In every era of Sundance, Utah has been a supportive partner. We look forward to another 20 years of films and culture.”
The announcement further solidifies Utah’s efforts to attract more film-related businesses. In November of last year, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced the expansion of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.’s U.S. operations to New Orleans.
Last year, Utah’s 20-year, $1 billion film incentive program was increased to ensure it will continue through 2030.
A number of Sundance films and activities have also spread internationally in recent years.