When is the Sundance Film Festival?

Do you know what is Sundance Film Festival is? When is it held?

If you know that’s fine but if don’t know then no worries. This article is for you. I am here to apprise you all the significant information regarding this topic. Keep reading till the end.

First of all, let’s know the basic ideas of Sundance Film Festival.


Sundance Institute organized ‘The Sundance Film Festival’ every year. It observed each January in Park City, Utah, Salt Lake City and at the Sundance Resort. This annual program is the largest independent film festival in the United States.It includes competitive categories such as, documentary dramatic film, feature film and short film. In this festival, judges give awards in competition categories as well for showcasing new films.

Brief History

Sterling Van Wagenen founded Sundance Film Festival. He was head of Robert Redford’s company Wildwood back then, along with John Eerie, who was serving in the Utah Film Commission at that time. It was first held back in 1978 at Salt Lake City as the Utah Film Festival. The main reason behind the launch of this event was to attract more filmmakers to Utah City and increase tourism in return. The very first Utah Festival featured movies such as Midnight Cowboy, The Sweet Smell of Success, Mean Streets and Deliverance.

In 1979, the Sundance Festival featured more than 60 films and the panels featured celebrated Hollywood filmmakers. That was the first year when the grand Frank Capra Award presented to Jimmy Stewart. 1979 was also the first year when the festival made its very first profit. While in 1989, Catania left Sundance in order to pursue a filmmaking career in Hollywood.

In 1981, the executive director Susan Barrell and Hollywood director Sydney Pollack moved the dates of the Utah Film Festival from September to January. They also changed thelocation to Park City because of the increasing crowd every year.

In 1984, the management of the US Film Festival took over by the well-established Sundance Institute. Robert Redford appointed Colleen Allen to manage the advertising, marketing, and branding of the event.

Sundance Film Festival isn’t just limited to the confines of Utah. In 2012, it traveled the first time outside of the US and held in London at The O2 Arena. This film festival also inaugurated in Hong Kong in the year 2014.

The festival has changed dramatically over the years. It started as a budget-friendly and small film festival for the independent filmmakers and now has turned into a media extravaganza hot spot for Hollywood celebrities.

The number of Sundance Film Festival submissions has also grown remarkably over the last two decades. Every year, there are more than 60 films screened at the festival whereas the number of submissions they receive is beyond anything. Millions of people attend this festival every year.

When is the next SFF?

According to the New York Times, Sundance Film Festival is planning to expand its next location for 2021 and move into multiple states and venues including Park City. Festival director Tabitha Jackson announced that next year’s Sundance Film Festival will take place in January 2021.

The Sundance Submission Deadline

Even though the actual festival held near the end of January, you need to start planning much earlier. The submission window opens in July and ends in September each year.

Final Words

It is a branch of the Sundance Institute. It is one of the largest gatherings of independent film persons. In 2018, the highest number of people attended this film festival and the number was approximate 125,000 people. Getting a film into Sundance is a great way to make a splash in the independent film world.