Watch CBS News

Colorado bids to host Sundance Film Festival in Boulder

Sundance Film Festival could find its new home in Colorado
Sundance Film Festival could find its new home in Colorado 00:36

Colorado wants to welcome more celebrities and movie stars to the Front Range. The state submitted a proposal to host the Sundance Film Festival in Boulder starting in 2027.

The state submitted the plans on behalf of the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Boulder) and a regional coalition of partners, including the City of Boulder, the Boulder Chamber, the University of Colorado Boulder and the Stanley Film Center.

"The Sundance Film Festival has a deep history in the Mountain West, and we can think of no better home for its next act than Colorado. With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop and our deep commitment to the arts, we can help the Festival achieve even greater success while preserving what makes it special, building on Colorado's iconic creative brand and our strong arts community," said Gov. Jared Polis in a statement.

2024 Sundance Film Festival - General Atmosphere
PARK CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 18: An evening view of the Egyptian Theatre marquee during the 2024 Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2024 in Park City, Utah. Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

The Sundance Institute began the process of considering other host locations for the internationally renowned festival after its partnership with Park City, Utah expires in 2026. Boulder responded to the request, along with several other cities in the U.S. 

According to a news release, the "Colorado Office of Film Television and Media and the Business Funding and Incentives division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade collaborated with Visit Boulder to support the development of a competitive application that highlights how Boulder and Colorado can help preserve and grow an inclusive Festival centered around artists and filmmakers while engaging diverse audiences."

The opportunity to host the festival would create hundreds of jobs in Colorado as well as attract thousands of out-of-state visitors and boost winter tourism in Boulder and surrounding areas. Last year, the Sundance Film Festival contributed more than $118 million to Utah's economy while creating 1,608 jobs for Utah residents and $63 million in wages. More than 21,000 visitors came from out of state, according to the governor's office. 

"Colorado's creative industries contribute $16.8 billion to our economy every year and account for nearly 4% of jobs. Hosting the prestigious Sundance Film Festival will grow the sector's contributions to our state while raising Colorado's profile across the globe, benefiting the many small businesses that depend on tourism and out-of-state visitors for their livelihoods," said OEDIT's Executive Director, Eve Lieberman in a statement. 

On Thursday, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved a one-time $1.5 million incentive as part of Colorado's proposal to host the Festival. According to the news release, the non-state match for this funding will substantially exceed one-to-one, with cash and in-kind contributions from the City of Boulder and the coalition of regional partners. OEDIT is also contributing an additional $325,000 to the proposal, including $250,000 from the COFTM over five years and one-time contributions from the Colorado Tourism Office ($50,000) and Colorado Creative Industries ($25,000). 

"When the Sundance Institute invited us to explore Boulder as a potential location for the Film Festival, we recognized an incredible opportunity to contribute to a longstanding artistic tradition while boosting visitation and local business support during a traditionally quiet time of year for our local restaurants, hotels and retailers," said Charlene Hoffman, CEO of Visit Boulder, in a statement.

"We were thrilled to welcome the Sundance Institute's prestigious Directors Lab to the Stanley Hotel and Estes Park this May. The success of that event showcased the many resources our state has to offer Sundance Institute's unique programming, and we welcome the opportunity to grow this relationship in such a meaningful way. This is an unprecedented opportunity that will benefit the Sundance Film Festival, the City of Boulder and the State of Colorado," said Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman in a statement. 

This year was the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival, one of the premier launching pads for independent filmmakers and documentarians from around the world. The final location is expected to be announced at the end of the year or beginning of next year.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.