The Sundance Film Festival 2022 will be virtual amidst the Omicron scare

The Sundance Film Festival The new COVID-19 variant Omicron has announced that it is moving forward with a virtual edition instead of the previously planned hybrid format.

In a joint statement posted on the festival’s website, Sundance Institute CEO Jonah Vicente and festival director Tabitha Jackson said there was no other option but to go digital as the number of cases increased.

“We are looking forward to our first full-fledged hybrid Sundance Film Festival and our teams have spent a year planning a festival like no other. But despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant, which has unexpectedly high transmissibility rates, is pushing the limits on health care, travel and other infrastructure across the country.
“So, we’re announcing today: the Utah elements of the festival will be moving online this year in person,” the statement read.

However, the organizers assured that the audience would still experience the “magic and power” of the gala with bold new films and find new storytellers as well as connect with artists in a virtual format.

“While the lack of personal experience in Utah is a serious loss, we do not believe it is safe or feasible to gather thousands of artists, spectators, employees, volunteers and partners from all over the world – on festive day, most communities are already struggling to provide the services they need,” the statement added.

The team said going virtually was a “very difficult decision to make” but hoped the festival would go ahead as planned for the 11 days starting January 20. The festival is presented by the Sundance Organization, which seeks out and supports independent artists and introduces their work to an audience.

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