Sundance set a new record for attendance in 2017, according to the Deseret News
Last year, the annual film festival garnered an attendance of more than 71,000 in two weeks and generated $151.5 million in total economic benefits for the state, according to a report by Y2 Analytics.
"It is apparent that the Sundance Film Festival continues to have an expanding impact on Utah's vibrant and diverse economy,” Gov. Gary Herbert said. “In addition to the obvious economic benefits, our ongoing collaboration with Sundance Institute highlights the exceptional cultural, recreational, tourism and business opportunities available here in Utah."
In 2016, Sundance saw an attendance of 46,660 with an impact of $143 million.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you should know about last year's Sundance festival that made it so unique.
A cyberattack stalled ticket sales
Glitches kicked off the event. Freezing temperatures and snowstorms rocked the valley upon the festival’s debut. Ticket sales stalled after the box office shut down because of a cyberattack, according to the Deseret News.
Snow problems delayed films
The first Sunday of this year’s festival also saw a power outage affect more than 2,500 customers in the Park City area. Three screenings for “Mars Generation,” “Landline” and “Dolores” had to be rescheduled because of the storms.
A record amount of local films
Four films at the Sundance Film Festival were filmed in Utah, according to Virginia Pearce, director of the Utah Film Commission. This is the most amount of films ever filmed in the state of Utah for the festival.
Christian group celebrated 14 years at the festival
Evangelical seminary students attend the Sundance Film Festival every year through the Windrider Forum, a Christian group established by the Fuller Theological Seminary. Students and faculty associated with the group have attendance Sundance for 14 years to watch movies and meet with producers and directors, the Deseret News reported.
Virtual reality debuts
This year’s Sundance film festival took a turn toward virtual reality. A short film called “My Brother’s Keeper,” which debuted at the VR on the Mountain, an exhibit that showcased VR projects that help films.
Syrian refugees grabbed the spotlight
Syrian refugees spoke at the Jan. 22 premiere of “Cries from Syria,” which is a documentary that brings the Syrian refugee crisis to life, according to the Deseret News. The film uses citizen journalists and activists to provide commentary about the ongoing crisis.
Environmental movies debuted amid polarized political climate
The environmental movement proved to be a focus of the 2017 festival. Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” debuted before a sold-out crowd. Those associated with the event said environmental films tend to show a different side of the issue because they’re filled with less technical jargon than policy.