Tropic Cinema will be putting the “sun” in the annual Sundance Film Festival in January.
The tropical location recently announced it is one of the numerous “satellite screens” the renowned festival will be using to showcase offerings from the program, which has been modified from previous years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The seven-day event, scheduled Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 in select cities across the country, will feature both digital and in-person screenings, using a custom-designed online platform as well as drive-ins, independent art-houses and a network of local community partnerships.
“Even under these impossible circumstances artists are still finding paths to make bold and vital work in whatever ways they can,” said Tabitha Jackson, in her first year as festival director. “So Sundance, as a festival of discovery, will bring that work to its first audiences in whatever ways we can. The core of our festival in the form of an online platform and socially distanced cinematic experiences is responsive to the pandemic and gives us the opportunity to reach new audiences, safely, where they are. And thanks to a constellation of independent cinema communities across the U.S. we are not putting on our festival alone. At the heart of all this is a belief in the power of coming together, and the desire to preserve what makes a festival unique — a collaborative spirit, a collective energy, and a celebration of the art, artists, and ideas that leave us changed.”
The partnerships allow Sundance to expand beyond its Utah home and bring feature films and customized local programming — talks, events, artist meetings — to communities across the country.
This includes Key West, where the Tropic Cinema will be creating and hosting satellite screen events centered on selections from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival program, which features numerous films making their world premiere.
Each satellite screen will create and host their own events, sharing local cultural conversations with broader festival audiences, with most also screening selections from the 2021 program.
“These partners are the backbone of independent artistic communities across the country, where filmmakers are born and cinephiles are developed,” said Jackson. “We’re entering these partnerships because a healthy ecosystem for artists and audiences requires that independent cinemas across the country survive and thrive.”
Programming details for the Tropic will be available later this month. Plans will evolve in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic health and safety guidelines.
All films in the program will be available online in the United States, with certain films opting for global availability. The full talks and events program, as well as the New Frontier section for XR and emerging media, will be available globally.
“Our festival footprint has changed this year, but we are excited to bring an incredible community together in new ways to engage with new artists and new stories — whether they’re joining us for the first year or have been for decades,” said Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam. “Our ambition is for everyone to come together, safely, wherever they may be, and participate in screenings on our platform at the same time. The Sundance team has consulted with artists, worked with incredible partners, and built a plan to welcome new audiences and capture a true festival spirit.”
Tickets and passes for those who want to experience the festival for the full run, a single day or a single screening will be available to the general public beginning Jan. 7. For information, register http://www.festival.sundance.org.