The Place


Despite the pandemic, Sundance is providing some new opportunities for Utahns and people around the world to participate in this year's festival

Posted at 1:51 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 14:40:23-05

This is the 40th year Utah has been the home of Sundance Film Festival. The festival was started in 1978 by the Utah Film Commission as the Utah/US Film Festival in order to attract more filmmakers to Utah. Sundance got involved in 1985 and then took it over fully in 1991.

We talked with Virginia Pierce from the Utah Film Commission who says Sundance had hoped to have some in-person events in Utah this year, but in the end, made the tough decision to keep everything online because of the ongoing pandemic.

Despite that, there are a lot of opportunities for Utahns and people around the world to participate in "live" film screenings and Q&A's.

There are no Utah films in the fest this year, but there is a new online platform, including an online "Festival Main Street" to tell the Filmed in Utah story, to educate audiences about the Festival films that have been shot in 'Utah. America's Film Set'.

In a usual year, Sundance brings more than 40,000 people to Utah to spend money in hotels, restaurants, shops and transportation. This year is obviously much different, but that doesn't mean the film industry hasn't contributed to the economy.

Virginia says there was a pause in activity in the spring, but film for the most part is back to work and film, television, and commercial productions have spent an estimated $100 million this year.

Utah is a great place for filming, in part because of the amazing and diverse landscape from red rocks to mountains to salt flats.

Go to to see the 40 plus films shot in Utah that have premiered at Sundance in past years.