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Sundance to end film festival screenings in Ogden

Published July 13, 2016 4:35 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Sundance Film Festival will have one less place to call home next January.

The festival, run by Robert Redford's nonprofit Sundance Institute, will no longer screen movies in Ogden, the institute announced in an email Wednesday.

"After evaluating our work in Ogden and discussing options with our local partners, we have decided to shift our programming to provide community screenings in Ogden outside of the Festival season," reads the email, sent to Ogden volunteers, ticket buyers and teachers. "While the decision to discontinue Festival screenings at Ogden's Peery's Egyptian Theater is a difficult one, we believe we can better serve the Ogden community by hosting screenings in collaboration with local organizations in other parts of the year."

The Utah Legislature cut state arts funding support of the Sundance Film Festival from $1 million in fiscal year 2016 to $500,000 in fiscal year 2017.

A spokesperson at Sundance Institute said the funding cut wasn't the primary factor for ending the Ogden festival programming.

"We are most focused on hosting the best possible programming that will resonate with the Ogden community," the spokesperson said. "In hosting events outside of the Festival season, we can present the films in a more targeted way and possibly draw new audiences to independent film."

"Obviously, we're disappointed," said Ross Reeder, director of sales and marketing for Peery's Egyptian, which started hosting festival screenings in 1997.

The theater, however, is already negotiating to create community programs with Sundance — something in line with programs the theater now conducts with such partners as Weber State University and the Utah Film Center, Reeder said.

"We're excited about those future opportunities," Reeder said.

The 2017 Sundance Film Festival is set for Jan. 19-29, in Park City, and at venues in Salt Lake City and at the Sundance resort in Provo Canyon.


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