New Sundance Institute X Chicago Event Sets Summer Dates

The Sundance Institute is partnering with Choose Chicago and the Chicago Film Office on Sundance Institute x Chicago, a new event to kick off in the Windy City this summer.

Viewed as an opportunity to highlight Chicago’s cultural scene and bolster its status as a filmmaking hub, while sharing information from the Institute’s artist development programs with emerging artists, the event is set to take place June 28 – 30.

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In addition to screenings of four films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival and filmmaker Q&As to accompany them, Sundance Institute x Chicago will feature a short film program and masterclass for emerging and underrepresented filmmakers, panel discussions at the Chicago Cultural Center and other venues, and a presentation about the Sundance Institute, offering insights on its artist programs, and how to apply. The news makes Chicago the only U.S. city to host an independent artist and film weekend in partnership with the Sundance Institute outside of Park City, Utah, where the Sundance Film Festival is held annually.

“This collaboration between Choose Chicago, the City of Chicago, and the Sundance Institute is a momentous occasion for our city,” stated Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “It not only celebrates our rich filmmaking heritage, but also provides an unparalleled platform for our local talent to engage with industry leaders and decision-makers. This event is a shining example of our commitment to enriching Chicago’s cultural landscape and fostering an environment where the arts can thrive.”

Added Sundance Institute’s Festival Director and head of public programming, Eugene Hernandez, “To know the history and landscape of independent storytelling is to know that Chicago has always been a home and a source of inspiration for artists, many of whom have ties to Sundance through our Festival and artist support programs. All of us at the Institute are very much looking forward to deepening our connection to this unique community of film lovers, film champions, and filmmakers through this weekend of events designed for and with the city of Chicago.”

Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 joins a deep lineup of film events and programming in Chicago, which each year serves as host to more than 50 film festivals. Just ahead of the new event, between June 25 – 28, the city will serve as host to the Independent Film Exhibition Conference, organized by trade organizations Film Festival Alliance and Art House Convergence, which is set to feature the participation of more than 500 industry stakeholders, including festival organizers, cinema operators, film distributors, and allied organizations.

Last week, the Sundance Institute made the stunning announcement that Joana Vicente would be stepping down as CEO after two and a half years on the job, with Amanda Kelso stepping in to lead the organization as Acting CEO. Prior to that, the org revealed that the next Sundance Film Festival will take place in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah from January 23 – February 2, 2025. With its current contract with Park City set to expire in 2026, Sundance has until October to seek an extension or put forth a new proposal.

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