Sundance Film Festival cancels in-person events as virus cases surge
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Sundance Film Festival cancels in-person events as virus cases surge
The Egyptian Theatre, one of the venues screening movies during the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah, Jan. 20, 2018. Kim Raff/The New York Times.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Sundance Film Festival announced Wednesday that it will cancel all in-person events set for Jan. 20-30. The news comes as virus cases are spiking because of the omicron variant. The festival will now be virtual for a second year in a row.

Sundance, in a news release, said it was “a difficult decision” to cancel its first hybrid festival, which would have allowed patrons to watch films either in-person in Park City, Utah, or online via a portal.

The release noted that with case numbers expected to peak in Park City and the surrounding Summit County during the week of the festival, “we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk. The undue stress to Summit County’s health services and our more than 1,500 staff and volunteers would be irresponsible in this climate.”

The news follows the announcement earlier Wednesday that the Recording Academy would postpone the Grammys, set to take place Jan. 31 in Los Angeles. In recent weeks, the Palm Springs International Film Festival canceled its event, and both the American Film Institute awards luncheon and the Critics Choice Awards, set for January, were postponed.

Last year was the first time Sundance held a completely virtual event. The multiday affair was deemed a success considering the circumstances and generated one of the highest sales in the festival’s history when Apple paid $25 million for the film “CODA,” which is now looking for recognition in the awards race.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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