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Minneapolis bids to become new location for Sundance Film Festival

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MINNEAPOLIS — The city of Minneapolis hopes to become the new hosting location for the iconic Sundance Film Festival.

On Sunday, Minneapolis bid organizers announced that the city had been selected as one of 15 cities to provide a full proposal to the film festival. Minneapolis submitted the proposal on June 21.

If accepted, Minneapolis would host the film festival in 2027 and beyond. 

Leaders behind the cross-sector bid, including Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, say the city is uniquely poised to host the film festival. 

"With our thriving arts and entertainment scene, diverse cultural heritage, and passionate film community, Minneapolis is the ideal backdrop for the Sundance Film Festival," Frey said. "There is no city that embraces the arts quite like we do — and Minneapolis already has a long history of supporting independent filmmakers and their art of storytelling. Sundance would be a welcome addition to our theater community, and we're excited to throw our hat in the ring to host this world-renowned festival."

Bid organizers say Minneapolis is a viable location based on several factors, including a "cross-section of support across private, public and nonprofit sectors." That support includes CEOs from Fortune 500 companies, major philanthropies, the city of Minneapolis, state leaders and more. 

The group also cited "ready-made infrastructure" that includes historic, world-renowned theaters and a top-ranked airport, among other factors working in the city's favor. 

Day One Press Conference - 2016 Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Institute President Robert Redford attends the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Day One Press Conference at Egyptian Theatre on January 21, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by George Pimentel/[Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival]) George Pimentel | Getty Images

Sundance Film Festival was founded in 1985 by actor Robert Redford. Hundreds of independent films premiered at the festival have gone on to reach worldwide audiences. 

Minnesota film directors Joel and Ethan Coen won the Grand Jury Prize in 1985 for their debut movie, "Blood Simple."

The festival's current contract with the location in Park City, Utah is set to expire in 2026. 

Bid organizers expect a decision this month from Sundance on whether Minneapolis will make it further in the process, which will include a site visit. The final decision is expected to be announced at the 2025 festival in January. 

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