In normal years, the Sundance Film Festival kicks off in late January at a time when the Hollywood Awards season is in full swing, but the Covid-19 pandemic has turned things upside down this year.
Producers, stars and journalists will not meet in the snow-capped Utah mountains as usual to exchange the latest rumors about the Oscars, as the default formula was chosen for this festival, which is considered one of the most prominent independent film festivals in the United States.
With the postponement of the Oscars to April 25, many important films were not released and were not even presented to critics, which means that Sundance will play a greater role in the awards.
Sundance Festival President Tabitha Jackson said in a press statement, “We have realized that it is something new for us. We will be in the window of awards.”
Evidence for this is that “Warner Brothers” decided to screen “Godas and the Black Messiah” for the first time in “Sundance”, in which actor Daniel Kaluuya embodies the role of the leader of the “Black Panther” movement, Fred Hampton.
Other notable films to be shown at the festival include “Land”, which is set in the Rocky Mountains, the debut work of Robin Wright (star of the “House of Cards” series) and “The World to Cam” with Casey Affleck.
Last month, Jackson said: “On the one hand, it is a short path (towards the Oscars), but on the other hand, there is still uncertainty about what 2021 will look like for movie releases, and she continued:” So I’m curious to see How will people choose to use this window. ”
With or without Sundance, it seems that independent films will take center stage this year in an awards season unlike other seasons. All competitions have been postponed, such as the Golden Globe Awards that are usually distributed at this time of the year. Postponed until February 3.
With the closure of most American cinemas due to the Corona virus, studios have refrained from releasing their largest and most expensive films, including “Don”, “No Time to Day” (the new James Bond movie) and “Morbius”.
With many of the major film festivals canceled for 2020 or reduced, this year’s Sundance shows may end up with films that premiered at the same festival last year.
These include “The Father” starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman, and “Promising Young Woman” starring Carrie Mulligan.
Last year’s films also included: “Minary”, as well as documentaries, including “Boys State” and “Time.”
Jackson recalled that “a large number of films that are currently taking a place in cultural debate; I saw the light at the Sundance Festival last year. ”
Snow boots and moccasins
Sundance organizers are urging the young world of Hollywood to have these discussions online and through virtual shows.
Only a few independent cinemas will screen movies in different parts of the United States; Where health restrictions allow it, but not in Los Angeles and Utah; Where the epidemic is spreading sharply.
Jackson said that all participants are encouraged to “exchange snow shoes for slippers”, and take advantage of this occasion “to watch more movies than you can under normal circumstances.”
A total of 72 feature films will be shown at the Sundance Festival, which will run from January 28 until February 3.