Sundance 2022: I’m Staying Home Due To Omicron

Egyptian Marquee, 2015. © 2015 Sundance Institute | Photo by Jemal Countess.

While the 2022 Sundance Film Festival currently presses forward with in-person, Solzy at the Movies will be covering the festival from home.

In light of the Omicron surge and after listening to medical professionals in my circle, I’ve decided against attending the 2022 Sundance Film Festival in person. I’ll still cover the festival virtually and hope to get back to Park City in 2023.

(Edit on January 5: The Sundance Institute announced that in-person portion of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival is now cancelled.)

As I went to bed on December 25, I scheduled a piece for the following morning about how Sundance needed to pivot to virtual. In the days since, several Hollywood events cancelled. The Palm Springs International Film Festival also made the decision not to go forward. I thought for sure that this would lead to the festival making the decision to cancel. However, it did not. While the CDC seems to be changing guidelines because of the airlines, I’m sticking with the science. It is impossible to bubble a film festival when restaurants won’t have the same requirements. What about people needing to isolate? I offer additional thoughts on my Substack. What the science tells me is that the Omicron variant is highly contagious. This morning, MSNBC reported that 1700 agents were out because of Covid. Moreover, an average of 3,000 flights are being cancelled daily.

The festival is currently reducing to 60% theatrical capacity and requiring boosters. What I find very confusing is that Park City Film will be selling concessions even though Sundance said they would ban food and drink from theaters. I don’t get it.

Over the weekend, I spoke with my friends who are medical professionals. When they personally advise me against attending the festival in person, it’s not something I can just dismiss. My gut feeling tells me that Sundance 2022 will turn into an Omicron hotspot. Someone could have symptoms and test negative with their nasal swab. Switch to a throat swab and the negative test becomes positive just like that. What if, G-d forbid, I test positive upon arriving at the festival? It would make Sundance a complete loss for me and this just is not a risk that I can take.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.