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Sundance Film Festival reacts to Omicron with health policy updates

The Egyptian Theater in Park City, Utah, displays a Sundance Film Festival marquee.
Traffic streaks by a outside the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Utah.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
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Boosters will be required for attendees at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, in one of several policy updates to the health and safety measures for the event’s in-person component. The festival had recently announced the majority of the 2022 program, with in-person events scheduled to run in Utah from January 20-30.

The COVID-19 vaccine booster requirement is for all in-person attendees — including employees, volunteers, contractors, general public, artists, partners, press and industry — who are eligible and recommended under CDC guidelines. This is in addition to the previous announced requirement that all attendees be fully vaccinated.

The festival will also operate venues at reduced capacity with no eating or drinking permitted in theaters or at other public programming.

“The health safety of our community is paramount,” read the statement released Thursday morning. “The 2022 Sundance Film Festival has been designed as a hybrid event that has flexibility for attendees to participate in-person and/or online.”

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Sundance 2021 was a mostly online event that reached the largest audience in the festival’s history, and organizers have an ambitious plan to merge their virtual and in-person events for 2022. The 2022 program includes more than 80 feature films, including new films directed by Lena Dunham and Amy Poehler alongside documentaries on Bill Cosby and Kanye West.

A number of films from the 2021 festival, including Siân Heder’s “CODA,” Rebecca Hall’s “Passing” and Amir “Questlove” Thompson’s “Summer of Soul,” are in the thick of the ongoing awards season.

The announcement from the festival on Thursday comes as various other entertainment industry events have been rapidly canceling over the past few days due to an ongoing surge in COVID cases and the now dominant Omicron variant. The Critics Choice Awards postponed their event scheduled for Jan. 9. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences postponed its Governors Awards scheduled for Jan. 15.


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