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HomeEntertainmentFarewell, Park City? Sundance Film Festival may be coming to your town.

Farewell, Park City? Sundance Film Festival may be coming to your town.

The Sundance Institute announced Wednesday that it has begun exploring potential new host cities for the annual Sundance Film Festival beginning in 2027, signaling a breakaway from its longtime home of Park City, Utah.

The 2025 and 2026 festivals will remain in Park City, which has played host since the yearly event started in 1981. The current contract with Park City expires in 2027, which has led the institute to reconsider where it plans to host the festival.

“We are in a unique moment for our Festival and our global film community, and with the contract up for renewal, this exploration allows us to responsibly consider how we best continue sustainably serving our community while maintaining the essence of the Festival experience,” Eugene Hernandez, director of the Sundance Film Festival and public programming, said in a news release.

Sundance is one of the most notable events for the state of Utah, which typically is not a destination for Hollywood’s rich and famous unless they’re hitting the slopes. Residents of Park City, as well as film enthusiasts from out of town, try to catch a glimpse of celebrities or see films with Oscars buzz before they are released widely.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Park City Mayor Nann Worel said in statements Wednesday that they plan to work with local leaders to keep the festival in the Beehive State. “We appreciate our partnership with Sundance, and we want the Festival to remain here for another 40 years,” Worel said.

It’s unclear what Sundance hopes to see in a potential new host city, if it moves from Park City. Sundance, which saw more than 17,000 entries from 153 countries for its 2024 festival, declined to comment on why it’s considering a move or whether potential new hosts have already applied.

But the institute outlined its selection process, which includes multiple stages before selection. From April 17 to May 1, a special committee within Sundance will gather and share information with interested host cities. Submissions and proposals to host will begin in May and close on June 21, with the final selections announced in late 2024 or early 2025, according to the institute. The committee, which includes Robert Redford’s daughter Amy Redford, will make the final decision on a potential new host city.

“To be clear, this does not mean that we are moving or have made a decision to move,” a Sundance spokesperson said. “This includes Utah, given the Festival’s long-standing relationship, and we absolutely encourage them to be a part of this process with us.”

Jada Yuan contributed to this report.

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