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Park City has invested in a new electric bus system, seen here about to charge.
by David Leitner
Sundance - Weekend—the - Awards - Ceremony - Opportunity
Sundance’s second weekend—the awards ceremony is tonight—provides a first opportunity to reflect on the impact of the 2019 festival. On the question of a breakout film at this edition of Sundance, the consensus (based on many conversations) seems to be “meh.” Which is not to say that a success story won’t emerge, since at least four films sold for between $13-15 million, which is encouraging.
Also encouraging are signs of the Sundance Institute’s investment in the festival’s future. Last year Sundance inaugurated a new 500-seat theater with Dolby Atmos sound, The Ray, converted from a former Sports Authority next door to the stalwart Holiday Cinemas (now relegated to press & industry screenings). Sundance’s New Frontier section, which showcases interactive and immersive works in augmented and mixed reality, has a new exhibition space in the lower level of The Ray, as well as—new this year—a “New Frontier Central” studio space (next to Walgreens), which houses a social lounge and a three-sided “immersive stage.”
Sundance - Institute - Headquarters - Part - Park
That’s not all. The Sundance Institute is planning to build a new headquarters as part of the Park City Arts and Culture District, a public-private development on Kearns Avenue (about where the Maverick First Stop convenience store is now), with the Kimball Art Center and the Sundance Institute as anchor partners. During the festival, representatives of six architecture firms on the short list to design the new headquarters visited the future site and the festival to observe “the chaos.” Plans for the Institute’s new HQ include a 359-seat theater. My understanding is that with more screens and seating, Sundance intends not to program more festival films but instead add more screenings to facilitate scheduling.
A new Kimball Art Center next to the Institute’s future...
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