One of the most prestigious and exciting film festivals in the world is more accessible than ever this year. Sundance—a fest that would typically attract flocks of well-to-do cinephiles, not-so-well-to-do film critics, indie filmmakers, celebrities and those who’ve scrimped and saved to be on the frontlines of the future of movies to Park City, Utah—is completely virtual throughout its 2021 run of January 28 – February 3.
Sure, there are drive-in screenings and partnerships with local arthouse theaters around the country, but for the most part, Sundance agrees with the medical consensus: It’s still not safe to go somewhere to see a movie in person. Their new online platform means that you can still be an early attendee of the buzzy movies that’ll be the topics of all the cool conversation for the foreseeable future.
, a movie that got on all our radars at Sundance 2020, is coming out next month. Basically, these things have legs. The opportunity is here to be on the bleeding edge of good movies—and from the comfort of your bed, couch or other in-home viewing spot of choice. You won’t have to buy a plane ticket and you won’t even get Festival Flu.
You can no longer buy festival passes or day passes, but single ticket sales are open until February 2. At $15 a pop, those tickets are cheaper than a Premium VOD release with all the same benefits: Everyone in your household can watch along, you can bring your own snacks and there’s no waiting in line. These premieres also offer access to a “live Q&A with the director, cast, and crew” alongside fancy digital waiting rooms with chat and other features. Mulan certainly didn’t give us that for $30.
Now the main question comes: What to watch? Paste will be rolling out its reviews as our critics attend premieres, so you’ll be able to catch second screenings with an informed opinion. If you’re looking to go in a little more blindly, we picked the movies we’re most excited about here. Seriously, you won’t be getting movies like Cryptozoo and Prisoners of the Ghostland anywhere else.
And if you’re looking to enrich your moviegoing mind without breaking the bank even a little, Sundance is also offering a slew of free panels and talks. Such cool videos as a discussion between Sonia Manzano and Rita Moreno and a conversation entitled “Power of Story: Speculative Fiction Is the Place” will be streamed for free on the Sundance site.
Sundance 2021’s opening night kicks off on January 28.