The 2018 Sundance Film Festival will have a new programming category for episodic works, and a new award for all features.
The Sundance Institute, which puts on the annual January film event, today announced three additions and updates to the 2018 program.
• A new category, "Indie Episodic," to spotlight short-form TV and web series that capture the independent spirit in smaller doses. The festival has been showing short-form episodic shows in the last couple years under the "Special Events" banner, debuting such programs as ESPN's "O.J.: Made in America," the ABC sitcom "Downward Dog," the HBO animated series "Animals," and the web series "Gente-fied," among others.
• A new award, "Festival Favorite," voted on by audiences and covering any feature film playing at the festival. This allows movies that had not been in competition categories — Premieres, Spotlight, Midnight and Frontier — to take home a trophy. Balloting will be similar to that already done in the U.S., World Cinema and Next programs.
• "The New Climate" program, introduced this year, will return — a label for narrative films, documentaries, virtual-reality experiences, and panels that look at the environment and climate change. The program launched this year with the premiere of "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power," the follow-up to the Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."
The festival also unveiled a peak at the graphics that will identify the 2018 event. The designs were developed in collaboration with students at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. A group of students including Andy Gutierrez, Michelle Lee and Charles Lin came up with the concept, during a three-day brainstorm and creative session with 15 students and three faculty members.
The red-text-on-blue is, according to a Sundance press release, "a disruptive celebration of imperfection" — and the colors represent the heat the festival brings to winter.
The 2018 Sundance Film Festival is six months away, Jan. 18-28 in Park City, and at venues in Salt Lake City and the Sundance resort. Submissions are being taken now, with deadlines in August and September.
— Sean P. Means