Sundance Festival Plans Return to Hybrid Format for 2023

The Sundance Film Festival is crossing its fingers that after two fully online events, this will be the year it returns to an in-person format. It has set the dates for a hybrid festival in Park City, Utah, Salt Lake City and beyond for Jan. 19-29, 2023.

But it’s not ditching its online presence and is still planning for a hybrid format, just as it had originally done in 2022 before the Omicron variant of COVID forced the festival to go fully virtual for the second year in a row.

Sundance also says that its 2023 program will be even larger than what has been presented digitally the past two years. Pass and package information for online and in-person participation will be shared closer to the festival, as will detailed health safety and vaccination guidance.

“We can’t wait to return to our home in Park City and present exciting new work from around the world live and in person,” festival director Tabitha Jackson said. “We also have two years of digital exhibition and participation under our collective belt, and are returning to the excitement and immediacy of live events while retaining a powerful online offering.”

For the first time in the festival’s history this year, a movie that first premiered at Sundance won the Best Picture Oscar more than a full year later when “CODA” took home the top prize after it first swept Sundance 2021 with four different prizes. Questlove’s “Summer of Soul” also made its premiere at Sundance in 2021 and likewise went on to win the 2022 Oscar for Best Documentary. While it’s too early to talk about any sort of Oscar buzz this year, 2022’s festival slate included the audience winner “Cha Cha Real Smooth” from director Cooper Raiff, which also sold to Apple for $15 million, as well as other festival standouts such as “Nanny,” “Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul,” “Navalny,” “2nd Chance” and many more.

Programmers, led by director of programming Kim Yutani, are standing by to screen submissions, gathered via FilmFreeway. Feature film submissions close August 12 (early), September 5 (official) and September 26 (late), 2022. Short film submissions close August 1 (early), August 19 (official) and September 5 (late), 2022. New Frontier submissions close August 5 (early), August 22 (official) and September 9 (late), 2022. Episodic content submissions close August 8 (early), August 26 (official) and September 12 (late), 2022. Details on applications, including frequently asked questions, are available here.