You’ve all heard about Sundance – it’s an exciting time for locals around here as hundreds of thousands of people flock to our beautiful state to view the best of the submitted films, and have a better-than-average shot at glimpsing a celebrity. It’s always an amazing event.
Sundance 2019 was no exception.
For 2019, Sundance received a record number of submissions for the film festival – 14,200. That astounding number was whittled down to 112 that were featured over the week-long event. Of those 112 films, 28 awards were presented – after a long, arduous process for these filmmakers, these are truly the best of the best. Want to see who won? Check out the official announcement from Sundance itself.
Where did Sundance get its start?
In 1961, Robert Redford (yes, THAT Robert Redford) took a cross-country motorcycle trip and fell in love with the beauty of the Provo Canyon and Mt. Timpanogas. He bought two acres, and promptly built a cabin. And then, 8 years later, those 2 acres grew into a whopping 5,000 dubbed ‘Sundance’ after his recent role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid. He opened his land to the public and had it designated as a wilderness preserve.
What a guy, am I right? We know our state is beautiful, but it’s always heartwarming to know that others feel the same way.
Since then, Sundance as developed into something that educates, inspires, and lifts through it’s more than half a century in Utah. the first Film Festival was held in 1985 – and has expanded into the phenomenon it is today, with 10+ days of films chosen from the countless contributions submitted internationally. It’s pretty remarkable, with a pretty remarkable history. I don’t think many people could argue with the fact that Sundance has become a staple of the creative industry.
And besides that, it’s become a Staple of Utah’s history (and revenue, to boot.)
What does Sundance mean for Utah?
A lot, as it turns out. In 2018, Sundance announced that the 2018 Film Festival generated an astounding 191.6 million in economic revenue for Utah. But guess what, there’s more – oh, there’s more.
The economic impact study also determined that the 2018 Festival generated over $19 million in state and local tax revenue; supported 3,323 jobs; and attracted more than 124,900 attendees from 49 states and 26 foreign countries. This year’s economic impact brought the five-year cumulative total since 2014 to $585.4 million, with more than $55 million in state and local tax revenue generated and more than 10,300 jobs supported. – Sundance.org
Pretty incredible, right? So whether you’re a film lover, a starry-eyed celeb lover, or someone who’s indifferent to the entire event, the fact is, Sundance is an incredible boon to our great state’s economic wellbeing. And that’s something that’s good for all of us.
(So thank you, Sundance, and thank you, Mr. Redford. Also, thank you, Utah, for being such a gorgeous place in the first place.)