As first reported by Variety, the Sundance Institute has pushed back its 2020 festivals in Hong Kong and London, with no rearranged date as of yet. The London edition of the festival was scheduled for the end of May, but will now be postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There had been no announced date for the Hong Kong event.
They join a long line of cancelled and postponed film festivals in the last few weeks including Cannes, arguably the biggest in the world. Given that the BFI Flare LGBTQ+ Film Festival in London had been cancelled this month, it comes as no surprise that Sundance made the decision to cancel their London-based event too.
The 2020 Sundance Film Festival took place in Utah at the end of January, with Lee Isaac Chun’s “Minari” winning the Grand Jury prize for U.S. dramatic competition. The family drama stars “Burning” and “The Walking Dead” star Steven Yeun and also won the coveted Audience Award.
Other awards winners at the festival that may have played in Hong Kong and London include “Boys State,” “Tesla” and “The 40-Year-Old Version.” A full list of winners from earlier in the year can be found here.
Variety also reports that programs scheduled for the summer in the U.S. such as the film music program and workshops have been suspended, with the view to move them to a digital platform. A quote from Sundance is included in Variety’s article on the issue, saying the following:
“We are in conversations with other film festivals and nonprofits to share ideas, and to ensure that we’re eliminating duplicative, expensive efforts and working as collectively and efficiently as possible to support the filmmakers whose festival premieres and releases didn’t happen this spring, and those whose films are in suspended states of production.”
Any news on rearranged dates for these schedules shouldn’t be expected until the timescale of the current global pandemic is clearer.