People attending the 2022 Sundance Film Festival won’t just have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination — they’ll also be required to wear masks at all indoor, and some outdoor, festival locations.
The Sundance Institute, the nonprofit arts group founded by Robert Redford that runs the festival, announced that public health requirement on Tuesday.
The institute also opened the online platform that will serve as the portal for buying tickets, checking out the program, and streaming films after they’ve had their premieres at in-person screenings in Park City and Salt Lake City venues.
Festival director Tabitha Jackson announced the vaccination requirement in August, adding that everyone attending the in-person events in Utah must complete their vaccinations two weeks before the festival starts on Jan. 20, 2022.
In Tuesday’s announcement, festival organizers added that masks must be worn at all times in indoor spaces, and in queuing lines — including such outdoor areas as tents, restrooms and temporary structures. The festival is recommending people wear masks outdoors, which is a good way to keep one’s face warm through a Utah winter.
Jackson also announced in August that festival programmers would select around 80 feature films to screen, with each title getting a premiere at an in-person screening in Utah, and then be screened online. That’s more than the 73 titles screened in the mostly online 2021 edition, but fewer than the 120 or so chosen each year before that.
In Tuesday’s announcement, Jackson said programming director Kim Yutani and her team are “deep into screening the mountain of submissions we have already received this year.”
The festival’s first ticket packages — for both in-person and online screenings and events — will be available to members of the Sundance Circle, the institute’s program for high-dollar donors, in an early sale on Oct. 15. Package sales and/or selection start on Dec. 15 for the institute’s Sundance Circle, Storyteller and Supporter members, and Dec. 17 for the general public. Individual tickets, at $20 each, go on sale Jan. 5 for members — including Indie members starting at $65 — and Jan. 6 for the public.
Here are the passes and packages available:
• Explorer Pass, for $50, unlocks online access to the New Frontier programs, the Indie Episodic titles, short films, and an exclusive program for Sundance’s online audiences.
• Day Package, for $100, admits the buyer to four online screenings in a single day, between Jan. 22 and 28, with early access for ticket selection. Explorer Pass is included.
• Award-Winners Package, for $300, gets the buyer access to eight award-winning feature films, in person or online, during the closing weekend, Jan. 29 and 30. (Award winners will be announced Friday, Jan. 28.) Explorer Pass is included.
• Salt Lake City Package, for $500, includes 10 in-person tickets to the festival’s Salt Lake City venues (Grand Theater, Rose Wagner Theater, Broadway Centre Cinemas, and Salt Lake City Library). Buyers get early access to ticket selection. Buyers for this package must have a valid Utah billing address. Explorer Pass is included.
• Resort Package, for $650, includes 10 in-person tickets for screenings at the Sundance Mountain Resort. Explorer Pass is included.
• Festival Package, for $750, includes 10 in-person tickets for in-person Utah venues and online screenings, with early access to ticket selection. Explorer Pass is included.
Sundance also announced the seven venues across the country that will play host to “Satellite Screens” — continuing a program started last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the institute to cancel in-person screenings in Utah. This year, the satellite screenings will feature curated programs on the festival’s second weekend, Jan. 28 to 30.
The seven venues are: Amherst Cinema in Amherst, Mass.; a/perture cinema in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Indie Memphis in Memphis, Tenn.; mama.film in Lawrence, Kan.; Media Arts Center San Diego’s Digital Gym in San Diego; Northwest Film Forum in Seattle; and SNF Parkway Theatre (home of the Maryland Film Festival) in Baltimore.
One sponsorship change that Sundance’s party crowd might notice: Stella Artois, the Belgian-born beer that has been served at festival events since 2004, will not be a sponsor for 2022. The beer brand taking over that honor is Michelob Ultra. Both brands are owned by the same parent company, AB inBev.