Sixteen companies have been signed on so far as sponsors of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, which runs Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance.
Leading the way are four "presenting" level sponsors -- Entertainment Weekly magazine, HP, Honda and the Sundance Channel. The next tier, "leadership" sponsors, includes American Express, DIRECTV, G-Technology by Hitachi, Microsoft Corp. and Southwest Airlines.
Making up a third level of "sustaining" sponsors are Blockbuster Inc., FilterForGood (a partnership between Brita and NalgeneSony Electronics Inc.), Stella Artois, Timberland and the Utah Film Commission.
The monetary value of each sponsorship level was not disclosed. Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper said corporate financial aid is vital to putting on the 10-day festival and funding year-round Sundance Institute programs for independent film and theater artists. Other funding comes from private foundations, nonprofit associations and guilds, government agencies and individuals.
Last year's film festival attracted more than 40,000 visitors, generating $92.1 million in direct economic impact for the state, plus an estimated $18 million in free publicity.
-- Mike Gorrell