The 2021 Sundance Film Festival has canceled its planned Los Angeles-area drive-in screenings due to surging COVID-19 infection rates in southern California.
"The safety and well-being of our audiences, community and staff is the most important thing to Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival. In consideration of the overall public health situation in the Los Angeles area and the trajectory of the spread of the virus there, the health guidelines, and crisis the hospital systems are facing we will be pivoting our planned drive-in screenings to our online platform," Sundance said in a statement.
Sundance earlier planned an online hub and U.S. industry partnerships to carry off a novel coronavirus-era indie film showcase for its 2021 edition to run from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. That included drive-in movie theater screenings, including in California at Mission Tiki Drive-In in Montclair, the Rose Bowl Drive-In in Pasadena and the Fort Mason Drive-In in San Francisco.
But the festival now sees the southern California outdoor screenings as "inadvisable" and will be pulled after consultations with local public health officials. That move comes as the COVID-19 crisis again pauses film production in Hollywood and continues to upend planning for Sundance's upcoming 2021 edition.
In a separate letter to filmmakers obtained by T