Even though the show will go on only over the internet, the organizers of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival are trying to make their home town of Park City feel a bit like normal.
“We put up our banners, and we put up the marquee at the Egyptian,” said Betsy Wallace, Utah managing director and chief financial officer for the Sundance Institute. “We really wanted to make sure people knew that we were here at heart.”
Festival fans can start buying their tickets for this year’s event now; the sales began at noon on Thursday.
The options include single-movie tickets for $15, a one-day pass for $75, and a full pass, for $350, that will let someone screen as much as they want over the festival’s run of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.
“The fiber is still the same. The mission is still the same,” Wallace said. “The one thing I like about the festival is that the voices, normally in an in-person year, are first heard here in Utah.”
Utah residents will get a few bonus features that other people won’t get, including free access to the YouTube-sponsored “Life in a Day 2020,” a documentary compiled from footage submitted from around the world — all shot on July 25, 2020.
Sundance still is planning a handful of live, in-person events at “satellite screens” in cities nationwide. That list, which originally featured 33 locations, is dwindling.
In December, Sundance announced that it was canceling in-person screenings at The Ray in Park City — this year’s only venue in the festival’s home town — because of Utah’s high case counts of COVID-19.
The Hollywood trade publication Daily Variety reported Wednesday that Sundance is canceling its drive-in screenings in the Los Angeles area, including the parking lot of the Rose Bowl, because of the pandemic’s rampage in southern California.
“We do not want to have people exposed, even if it’s inadvertently,” Wallace said.
“We touch base with them almost every day, asking ‘Are you OK?’,” Wallace said. “We want to make sure their patrons are healthy.”
Tickets are available online, at tickets.festival.sundance.org. Here are the pass and ticket options that went on sale Thursday:
Festival Pass, $350 • All-inclusive, allowing film lovers to stream every movie on the Sundance slate, either at the premiere screening — which includes an interactive waiting room before the film and live Q&A sessions with the cast and crew after — and on-demand second screenings. Also includes on-demand access to the award winners (on Feb. 3), New Frontier, short films, Indie Series programs.
Day Pass, $75 • Everything in the festival pass, but for only a single day. Only available Jan. 29-Feb. 2. Includes Explorer Pass privileges for that day, with access to New Frontier, Indie Series and short films.
Single Film Ticket, $15 • Good for one premiere screening, with the live Q&A, or a screening in a film’s on-demand window.
Award Winners Pass, $100 • Good for Feb. 3 only, when all 32 award-winning films will stream on demand for 24 hours. Also includes Explorer Pass privileges on Feb. 3.
Explorer Pass, $25 • Allows the holder to experience the New Frontier immersive and experimental experiences, as well as the shorts programs and Indie Series shows. (This is the only pass available to audiences outside the United States.)