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Sundance offering free 'For The Locals' Utah summer movie screenings

Sundance Film Festival at Park City, January 2015.

Sundance Film Festival at Park City, January 2015. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — After skipping in-person movie screenings in favor of a mostly virtual Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, organizers have announced a number of opportunities for Utah film fans to see Sundance movies in person this summer.

The festival's new "For The Locals" program will anchor Sundance's slate of summer events over the weekend of July 14-17, the festival announced in a news release. Those screenings, taking place in both Salt Lake City and Park City, will feature films that won awards in February at this year's Sundance festival, such as "CODA" and "Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)."

"We're eager to gather in-person again, in creative yet safe arrangements that allow us to collectively celebrate independent stories," Eva Rinaldi, Sundance Institute's Utah Community Program director, said in the release. "Working alongside film teams, our programming team, and our many on-the-ground partners and advocates, it's been a pleasure to assemble this lineup and devise innovative ways to get these artists' projects in front of audiences."

More Sundance films will be screening during Park City's Latino Arts Festival from June 21-26, and at Salt Lake City's Living Traditions Festival at Washington Square Park on June 26.

Sundance's 2021 short films program will be shown July 9 and 10 during Salt Lake City's downtown open streets, and the award-winning festival documentary "Flee" will be shown July 17 during Salt Lake City's Damn These Heels Queer Film Festival.

Selections from Sundance's 2021 New Frontier program, which showcases film projects made with new or cutting-edge technology, will be shown during the Craft Lake City DIY Festival from Aug. 13-15 at the Utah State Fairpark.

Audience members viewed Sundance features and short films over 250,000 times during the 2021 festival, which took place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, according to a news release from Sundance. Films selected to the festival program were available to watch virtually online across the U.S. With the expanded reach of the virtual festival, Sundance estimated that viewership for the 2021 festival was a 168% increase over viewership for the 2020 festival, which took place in Utah only.

"It's been rewarding to see the way adventurous audiences everywhere engaged with our program and platform, and of course we are delighted to have met and even exceeded our goal of expanding the reach and community for independent film in this challenging year," Sundance Institute CEO Keri Putnam said in a statement.

Admission for all the Sundance summer screenings is free. Full details are available on the Sundance website at sundance.org/sundancelocals.

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