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John Cooper to step down as Sundance Film Festival director

Festival Director John Cooper moderates during "Film Church" during Sundance Film Festival in Park City on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018.
Festival Director John Cooper moderates during Film Church during Sundance Film Festival in Park City on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. On Thursday, the Sundance Institute announced that Cooper will step down as director following the 2020 festival.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — John Cooper, Sundance Film Festival’s director, will be stepping down from the position after the 2020 festival, it was announced on Thursday.

Cooper has been a festival staff member for nearly 30 years, and the festival’s director since 2010. The Sundance Institute has not announced his replacement.

He’ll still be involved with the festival, however. The Sundance Institute announced that Cooper will fill a newly created role of Emeritus Director, where he will focus on special projects, including overseeing the Sundance Institute’s 40th anniversary in 2021.

During Cooper’s time with Sundance, he helped launch the festival’s Short Film section and competition, as well as its Documentary Premiere, NEXT and New Frontier sections. Sundance also expanded its festival programming into separate London and Hong Kong festivals during this time, with Cooper’s help.

“I look forward to remaining a part of this fantastic organization in my new role, and creating a seamless transition for new Festival leadership,” Cooper said in a news release.