With just six months to go until the opening of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival (unbelievable, but true), Sundance Institute has today announced the creation of a standalone Episodic section, further expanding television’s reach into the festival world.
In previous years, Sundance has offered limited episodic and television offerings, one that just last year played home to series like “I Love Dick,” “Downward Dog,” and “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On,” and boasts other major titles like “O.J.: Made in America,” “Transparent,” and “Top of the Lake” as additional alumni.
Yet this announcement marks a major sea change in the way Sundance approaches episodic entries. Last year’s episodic screenings were unfurled across a wide spectrum of sections, from the vaguely defined “Special Events” section to their forward-thinking Independent Pilot Showcase. 2o18 will play home to the newly created “Indie Episodic” section. Per Sundance’s official announcement, the section is designed “specifically for stories told in multiple installments, with an emphasis on independent perspectives.”
Additionally, the festival has announced the return of “The New Climate” strand of environmental work, which includes feature film, documentaries, virtual reality experiences, and panels.
Sundance has also announced the creation of a brand new award, deemed the “Festival Favorite” Award, which will be given to the film that “best connects” to audiences. The winner will be determined by audience ballots across all festival screenings. While it’s imilar to the longstanding Audience Awards for each Competition section, the award will “designate the feature film from any of the Festival’s sections that best connects with audiences.”
In one last piece of news, the festival has also unveiled its official 2018 graphics, developed in collaboration with ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. You can see the new logo up top.
Feature film, short film, episodic and Virtual Reality submissions are now being accepted via Withoutabox, with early deadlines beginning August 7; more information about submissions and deadlines is at sundance.org/submit.
The 2018 Festival takes place January 18 – 28 in Park City, Salt Lake City and Sundance, Utah.