Sundance film festival scraps in-person events due to Covid

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The Sundance Film Festival at night. (Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute)
The Sundance Film Festival at night. (Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

The Sundance film festival on Wednesday cancelled all in-person events due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, shifting its indie movie premieres and events online.

The festival takes place each year in the western US state of Utah, and had been planning a hybrid format later this month, featuring physical events with strict health protocols and virtual screenings.

"Despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures across the country," said organisers in a statement. "And so, today we're announcing: the Festival's in-person Utah elements will be moving online this year."

Co-founded by Robert Redford, Sundance showcases the coming year's hottest independent, art house and documentary movies.

Among the selected films this year will be jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, a documentary assembled from more than two decades of footage shot by West's longtime friend Clarence "Coodie" Simmons.

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival runs 20-30 January.

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