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Sundance Institute plans to launch a film festival in Indonesia this summer

(Mike Stack | Salt Lake Tribune file photo) The National Monument and city skyline in downtown Jakarta, Indonesia, in October 2017. Sundance Institute announced on March 11, 2021, that it would hold the first Sundance Film Festival: Asia in Jakarta in late summer 2021.

There will be a Sundance Film Festival that people can attend in person this year — in Indonesia.

The Sundance Institute, the arts nonprofit founded by Robert Redford, announced earlier this month that it will present the first Sundance Film Festival: Asia late this summer in Jakarta, Indonesia.

No dates have been set for the event.

Sundance is partnering with XRM Media, an entertainment and media technology company, to create the festival in Indonesia. Sundance also will receive support from IDN Media, Indonesia’s leading media platform company.

“Indonesia is an emerging film market, and we are committed to bring the strength of the Institute to help develop and showcase Asian talent to the indie community,” said Michael Y. Chow, co-founder of XRM Media, in a statement.

The festival will feature independent films curated by Sundance from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, which took place mostly online from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 this year.

A delegation of filmmakers is slated to travel to Indonesia for the summer event, travel and public health guidelines permitting. Sundance and XRM will also present Sundance Lab initiatives for Asian talent, as well as Sundance Co//ab experiences designed for the region.

Tabitha Jackson, the Sundance Film Festival’s director, said in a statement that the institute has “long wanted to deepen our connection to the bold and vibrant energy of Asian independent filmmaking. The opportunity to work more closely with the community of filmmakers and audiences in Indonesia through a collaboration with XRM Media and IDN Media makes this first year of Sundance Film Festival: Asia a very exciting prospect.”

Winston Utomo, the CEO of IDN Media, called the event “historic” in a statement, and said it would bring “important momentum for the film industry in Asia, especially for filmmakers and film enthusiasts in Indonesia, to connect and collaborate with filmmakers around the world.”

Sundance has held festivals in other parts of the world before. The institute launched the Sundance London Film Festival in 2012, and held a similar event in Hong Kong from 2014 to 2019.

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