Sundance Film Festival

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Sundance Film Festival - Signet since 2007

The Sundance Film Festival is an American film festival held annually in Park City and Salt Lake City , Utah . It is considered an important platform for independent American and international productions .

In 2020, the 36th Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 23rd to February 2nd.


The Main Street in Park City at the Sundance Film Festival 2011
The Egyptian Theater in Park City during the 2012 festival

The festival began in 1978 under the name Utah / US Film Festival to attract more filmmakers to Utah. At the time, the festival consisted mainly of presenting a few retrospectives and panel discussions for filmmakers. Even then, there were smaller screenings for films that were made outside of Hollywood .

The festival was saved from marginal existence as a small, insignificant regional festival by two factors. The first was Robert Redford from 1981 . The well-known actor and director lived in Utah and became the festival's chairman. This managed to draw far more attention to the festival than would have been possible without the name Redfords.

The second factor was the rescheduling of the event from September to January, i.e. from summer to winter. This allegedly came on advice from Sydney Pollack , who noted that having a festival at a ski resort in winter would result in "Hollywood breaking down the door to attend" .

The management was taken over in 1985 by the Sundance Institute , a non-profit organization . In 1991 the festival was officially renamed the Sundance Film Festival . Many independent filmmakers owe their breakthroughs to the festival, including Kevin Smith , Robert Rodriguez , Quentin Tarantino , James Wan , Marc Forster , the Coen brothers and Jim Jarmusch . The festival also brought some films into the limelight, such as Saw , Inside a Skinhead , Blair Witch Project , El Mariachi , Clerks , Sex, Lies and Video , Napoleon Dynamite , American Splendor , Super Size Me , Donnie Darko and most recently Little Miss Sunshine .

From 2012 to 2014, a smaller offshoot with highlights from the festival in London was carried out.

Origin of name

The Sundance Film Festival was named by Robert Redford after his role as the Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid , his favorite character.

Price categories

A selection of the awards given in 2013 :

American film

category Original designation awarded since
Grand Jury Prize - Best Documentary Grand Jury Prize: Documentary 1984
Grand Jury Prize - Best Feature Film Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic 1984
Audience Award - Best Documentary Audience Award: US Documentary 1989
Audience Award - Best Feature Film Audience Award: US Dramatic 1989
Best Director - Documentary US Directing Award: Documentary 1998
Best Director - Fiction US Directing Award: Dramatic 1998
Best script Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award 1998
Best Editing - Documentary US Documentary Editing Award 2006
Best Cinematography Documentary Excellence in Cinematography Award: US Documentary 1987
Best Cinematography - Fiction Excellence in Cinematography Award: US Dramatic 1987

Foreign film ("world cinema")

category Original designation awarded since
Jury Prize - Best Foreign Documentary Film World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary 2005
Jury Prize - Best Foreign Feature Film World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic 2005
Audience Award - Best Foreign Documentary Film World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary 2004
Audience Award - Best Foreign Feature Film World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic 1999
Best Director - Foreign Documentary World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary 2008
Best Director - Foreign Feature Film World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic 2008
Best Screenplay - Foreign Film World Cinema Screenwriting Award 2008
Best Editing - Foreign Documentary World Cinema Documentary Editing Award 2008
Best Cinematography - Foreign Documentary World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary 2008
Best Cinematography - Foreign Feature Film World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic 2010


  • Peter Biskind: Sex, Lies & Pulp Fiction. Behind the scenes of the new American film. Rogner & Bernhard , Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-8077-1004-3 .
  • Lory Smith: Party in a box. The story of the Sundance Film Festival. Gibbs Smith Publisher, Salt Lake City 1998, ISBN 0-87905-861-7 .
  • Kenneth Turan: Sundance to Sarajevo. Film festivals and the world they made . University of California Press, Berkeley 2002, ISBN 0-585-46625-4 , chap. Sundance , S. 31-48 .

Web links

Commons : Sundance Film Festival  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Sundance Film Festival: “Padre Nuestro” wins the Sundance Festival . dpa article Tagesspiegel , January 29, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  2. ^ Leo Barraclough: Sundance Cancels 2015 Edition of London Spinoff Festival. January 16, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.