It’s a lot warmer than usual and there isn’t really any snow to speak of in Park City right now, but the Sundance Film Festival is keeping it traditional in one sense today with its annual opening press conference that officially kicks off the fest, which this year runs through January 28.
As in past years, Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam and director John Cooper will join founder Robert Redford onstage at the Egyptian Theatre. Watch the presser live above.
With a visible code of conduct for the high-altitude shindig this year and a 24-hour hotline set up by Utah’s Attorney General, Sundance 2018 arrives as the industry struggles to fully address issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Now well into its third decade, this year’s festival also comes on the anniversary of Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House and the massively attended women’s marches that took place in Park City and nationwide last year.
On January 20, a Respect Rally will be held in the Utah town, and while not officially connected to the festival, it is expected to see the likes of Putnam and Cooper, both of whom participated in last year’s March on Main.
In that politically and culturally charged atmosphere, this year also sees a stride forward for the festival as the U.S Drama and U.S. Documentary competition juries have people of color in the majority for the first time.
Yet, for all that, Sundance is still about the movies and some TV. Full of world premieres including Idris Elba’s directorial debut Yardie and Netflix’s Seeing Allred documentary about the firebrand attorney, this year’s fest has 122 feature-length pics and 69 short films in its lineup.
The fest winds down with its annual awards ceremony January 27, with Jason Mantzoukas hosting.