Sundance Announces Dates For 2023 Hybrid Festival

The pandemic hasn't been easy on the Sundance Film Festival, forcing the fest to host the event virtually for the past two years. This year's festival was planned to have an in-person component with screenings and more, but unfortunately, concerns about the Omicron variant forced them to move it entirely online. The Sundance Institute has announced the dates for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, which will take place as a hybrid event with screenings online and in-person in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah from January 19 through January 29, 2023. 

A two-pronged approach to next year's festival

Sundance made history recently, as "CODA," which premiered at the festival, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Other 2021 Sundance premieres that went on to become critical darlings were "Summer of Soul," "Mass," "Flee," and "Passing." In 2022, films like "FRESH," "We Need to Talk about Cosby," "Lucy and Desi," "Master," and "Alice" are all earning quite a bit of buzz. Sundance can often be the festival that sets the tone for the year in film, and knowing that hopefully some films will be screened in-person next year feels like a hopeful return to semi-normal. The continued availability of the digital portion of the festival is great, too, for those who want to participate or cover the fest but can't travel to Park City for whatever reason. 

In a press release, festival director Tabitha Jackson explained part of the decision to move forward with a hybrid event:

"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. We... are returning to the excitement and immediacy of live events while retaining a powerful online offering."

Pass and package information for online and in-person participation will be released closer to the festival itself, along with detailed health safety and vaccination guidance to ensure the protection of all who attend. In addition to revealing the dates for the 2023 festival, the Institute also officially opened submissions. The rules, regulations, and deadlines can be found on their website. Feature film submissions officially close September 5, 2022, short film submissions close August 19, New Frontier submissions close August 22, and episodic content submissions close August 26. 

While it's entirely possible that there could be another variant surge, here's hoping that Sundance Film Festival will be able to return at least partially in person from January 19 through January 29, 2023. After all, seeing a movie there has always been on my bucket list.