In the wake of the sexual assault reports that shocked the film industry in 2017, the Sundance Film Festival has expanded a longstanding code of conduct policy for staffers and volunteers to all festivalgoers ahead of the 2018 edition. The policy is the most direct, public response by the festival to questions of safety and appropriate behavior within the film industry since reports about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual assault first made headlines in the fall.
While the code of conduct is listed on Sundance’s website, it is more prominently displayed in the menu for the festival’s app, used by many festivalgoers navigating the schedule throughout the 10-day event. The Code of Conduct reads in full:
Sundance Film Festival is an environment where bold, creative, and distinctive voices are celebrated.
Sundance Institute is committed to allowing attendees to experience the Sundance Film Festival free of harassment, discrimination, sexism, and threatening or disrespectful behavior. We reserve the right to role, without notice or refund, credentials or access to Festival events and venues for those who engage in such conduct.
We have partnered with the Utah Attorney General’s office to provide a 24-hour live hotline, which will open on January 12th, for those who are involved in or witness something that violates this Code of Conduct at 801-834-1944.
The festival’s partnership with the Utah Attorney General’s office Is new for 2018. While the move can be seen as part a larger effort by the industry to address calls for safer environments and firm procedures to address safety matters, the Weinstein scandal was linked to the festival by virtue of its legacy.
The initial article The New York Times about the distributor’s decade-spanning history of abuse noted that Weinstein regularly held court at the Stein Eriksen Lodge during the festival, where he was one of the more famous dealmaking characters. In 1997, actress Rose McGowan accused Weinstein of raping her in a Park City hotel room during the festival.
The festival has been expected to revise its policies in response to the past year for some time. “Sundance is really the first grand community gathering after all this has hit,” Sundance director John Cooper told Reuters in November. “So we’re looking for ways to form a community around it…and making it very safe — not only a safe to do your work but a safe place to talk about these issues.” Cooper added that Weinstein, last spotted in Arizona, had not requested a credential for the 2018 edition.
“The Sundance Institute and Film Festival denounce, in the strongest possible terms, the behavior of Harvey Weinstein as described by the growing number of women who have bravely come forward,” the festival said in an October statement. “The accusations are abhorrent and profoundly disturbing. We recognize that too often a pattern of abuse like this one thrives in the shadows, and we stand in solidarity with the courageous women whose honesty has helped shine a light on it.”
The 2018 Sundance Film Festival runs January 18 – 28 in Park City, Utah.