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Sundance Film Festival could leave its longtime Park City home in 2027

Mark Olsen – Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Rumors of the Sundance Film Festival’s possible exit from its longtime home in Park City, Utah, rolled throughout the event earlier this year.

Now the nonprofit Sundance Institute, which puts on the event, has announced it is starting the process of exploring a potential new destination for as early as the 2027 festival.

The organization said a request for information process would begin Wednesday and close on May 1, followed by a request for proposal process from May 7 to June 21, to explore viable locations in the United States for the festival.

The event will remain in Park City for 2025 and 2026. The process of scouting new locales does not guarantee that the festival will move away from Park City.

A press release from the institute said: “With the Festival’s current contract with Park City up for renewal starting in 2027, the RFI/RFP will allow the Institute to evaluate, consider, and build on its foundation for an accessible Festival serving a growing global independent creative community.”

The statement added, “The Institute is making sure that inclusivity and sustainability are always at the forefront of the festival experience, while preserving the festival’s key mission and responsibility: discovering and supporting independent storytellers and introducing their work to new audiences.”

Founded by Robert Redford in 1980, Sundance Institute recently was shaken by the departure of Chief Executive Joana Vicente after just two-and-a-half years in the post. Amid financial hardships hitting film festivals more broadly last year, the institute laid off 6% of its staff.

In a statement, Eugene Hernandez, director of the Sundance Film Festival and public programming, 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.”

Park City mayor Nann Worel said, “We appreciate our partnership with Sundance, and we want the festival to remain here for another 40 years. We will not be alone in the effort to ensure that Utah remains host to diverse new voices from around the globe.”

Once the request for information process is complete, Sundance Institute will notify the cities selected to move on to the request for proposal. The results are expected be announced by later this year or early in 2025.

©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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