The Sundance Film Festival marquee at the Egyptian Theatre. Photo provided by the Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival marquee at the Egyptian Theatre. Photo provided by the Sundance Film Festival

The organizers at the Sundance Film Festival have recently announced an exciting way to experience the event in theaters around the country with Satellite Screens. The partnership is with independent theaters and will be available in major cities from coast-to-coast.

A full list of venues is provided within this article, but you will see many drive-in movie theaters and independent arthouses hosting events. That spirit of finding a way to come together is inspiring. As a person that supports independent artists, I have a strong desire to see how the festival will evolve this year.

Day One films are set to debut Thursday, January 28, at 6 p.m. U.S. Mountain Time. This year each of the 70+ feature films will premiere online in a dedicated time slot.

For the first time in Sundance history, audiences around the globe will be given the chance to engage with the works, the artists, and each other via a virtual platform, accessible via computer and VR headsets. Personally, I would love to see these interactive films be available on YouTube with access to virtual experiences with or without a headset, but make it available to experience with smartphones.

The festival organizers work tirelessly to continue the legacy of Sundance this year. They have also been working with business owners around the country to provide a new way of watching film to kickoff 2021.

“These partners are the backbone of independent artistic communities across the country, where filmmakers are born and cinephiles are developed. We’re entering these partnerships because a healthy ecosystem for artists and audiences requires that independent cinemas across the country survive and thrive.” – Tabitha Jackson, Festival Director

In 2019, I decided to venture to downtown Denver and check out some of the entertainment and culture that was available to the public. I wanted to connect with the city, and see what was happening around town.

As I walked around downtown, I searched for movie theaters that reminded me of the atmosphere that I had experienced at the Sundance Film Festival. The venue known as Sie FilmCenter looked interesting, so I went to check it out. The people and atmosphere did evoke the vibe from Sundance. I sat at the bar on the inside, had a drink, and selected a film to watch. It brought me back to the rush of excitement I felt from the festival.

When I found out that the Sie FilmCenter was going to be apart of Satellite Screen series, it made me feel complete in a way. It was in part a dream of mine to see Sundance expand out of Park City, Utah. On one hand, I understand that keeping the capacity limited and ability to see these new films was a major draw, but deep down I really wanted to drive downtown and see a Sundance film being screened in real-time during the festival at this theater, and now I have the opportunity to live out that dream.

During a time in our nation’s history where film, cinema, and people in general are struggling more now than ever, I sincerely ask everyone to take proper precaution when attending live events, but do not stop going out and supporting one another. It is easy to give up and feel defeated, but that is not what generations of Americans sacrificed their lives and well-beings for overall.

Participating Theaters

Alabama: Birmingham with Sidewalk Film Festival
Sidewalk Film Center, Sidewalk Drive-In

Arizona: Tucson with The Loft Cinema
The Loft Open Air Cinema

California:
Montclair with American Cinematheque
Mission Tiki Drive-In
Pasadena with the Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl Drive-In
San Francisco with The Roxie Theater
Roxie Theater, Fort Mason Drive-In

Colorado: Denver with Denver Film
Sie FilmCenter

Florida:
Key West with Tropic Cinema
Tropic Cinema, The Key West Lighthouse, The Truman Little White House, The Ernest Hemingway House and Museum
Miami with Third Horizon and O Cinema
New World Symphony SoundScape Park and South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

Georgia:
Atlanta with Atlanta Film Society
The Plaza Theater, Plaza Drive-In, Dad’s Garage Drive-In
Macon with Macon Film Festival
Douglass Theatre

Hawaii: Honolulu with Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA)

Iowa: Iowa City with FilmScene
FilmScene at The Chauncey

Kansas: Wichita with mama.film
mama.film microcinema, Wichita Art Museum, Groover Labs

Kentucky: Louisville with TheSpeed Art Museum
Speed Art Museum

Louisiana: New Orleans with New Orleans Film Society
The Broad Theater

Maryland: Baltimore with Maryland Film Festival
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theater

Massachusetts: Brookline with Coolidge Corner Theatre
Coolidge Corner Theatre

Michigan: Detroit with Cinema Detroit

Minnesota: Minneapolis-St. Paul with FilmNorth
Riverview Theater

New York: Pleasantville with Jacob Burns Film Center
Jacob Burns Film Center & Media Arts Lab

Ohio: Columbus with Gateway Film Center
Gateway Film Center

Oklahoma: Tulsa with Circle Cinema
Circle Cinema, Circle Cinema Drive-In, Admiral Twin Drive-In, Philbrook Museum, OSU-Tulsa, Tulsa University, Gilcrease Museum

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia with BlackStar Film Festival

Puerto Rico: San Juan with Asociación de Documentalistas de Puerto Rico (AdocPR)
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR)

South Carolina: Columbia with The Luminal Theater
Spotlight Cinemas Capitol 8

Tennessee:    
Memphis with Indie Memphis
Malco Summer Drive-In
Nashville with Belcourt Theatre
Belcourt Theatre

Texas:
Austin with Austin Film Society
AFS Cinema
Dallas with Aviation Cinemas
Texas Theatre
Houston with Houston Cinema Arts Society
MoonStruck Drive-In, DeLUXE Theater

Utah:
Park City
The Ray
Salt Lake City with Salt Lake Film Society

Washington: Seattle with Northwest Film Forum