This week, guests of the Sundance Film Festival received a reminder about the 2015 edition that was markedly different from previous editions: While Sundance has generally run from January 15 - 25, the next one will take place January 22 - February 1.
The later dates were determined last fall in an arrangement with Park City, Utah, which hosts the festival, to avoid the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The agreement was part of a renewed contract with the festival to ensure its presence in Park City through 2026. According to the terms of the deal, the festival will move its dates whenever they overlap with the holiday. In the past, Park City estimates that it has lost around $4.2 million in ski revenue when the festival has taken place during that period.
The overlap takes place five times over the next 13 years, which means the festival will move its dates during those times. A rep for the festival told Indiewire that these changes will not impact submission deadlines.
However, Sundance's new timing will have a significant effect on the film festival calendar. Generally considered the first major festival of the year, Sundance will now take place during the exact same dates as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, a significant festival in the European film community that in previous years has started several days into Sundance (permitting some members of the industry to attend both). Sundance will also conclude a mere four days before the latest edition of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, which also hosts the European Film Market.