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Published on April 30, 2024
Atlanta Eyes Sundance, Peach State City to Bid for Renowned Film Festival's New Home in 2027Source: Wikipedia/Travis Wise, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Move over, Park City; there's a new contender stepping up to the festival plate. Atlanta has tossed its name into the ring to take over hosting duties for the venerable Sundance Film Festival in 2027. The city known for peaches and hip-hop might soon buzz with indie film's finest, with preparations already underway to woo the festival officials.

According to WABE, Chris Escobar, who owns the Plaza and Tara Theatres and acts as executive director of the Atlanta Film Society, confirms their interests: "We're throwing our name in the hat." Escobar echoes confidence in Atlanta's capability, citing a mix of thriving creativity and a top-notch production hub. Sundance, a festival cherished for elevating the stories of marginalized artists, may find a kindred spirit in the diverse and culturally rich Atlanta.

The buzz about the bid comes as Sundance looks for greener pastures due to financial and developmental strains in its long-time Utah home. And Atlanta? This Southern city is already known for its contribution to the arts, giving credence to Escobar's claim that "There's literally no single place on the planet to be doing that and supporting that, fostering new voices," in an interview obtained by WABE.

While Atlanta has its strengths, including Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and plenty of hotels, hosting Sundance would be a big step for its arts scene. Escobar acknowledges the challenge, considering the strain on the city's arts budget. Still, he remains hopeful, saying, "I'm trying to stay optimistic. Maybe this could change things," as reported by WABE. The decision on Atlanta's formal proposal will come on May 6.

Atlanta's film scene is on the rise, with events like the Atlanta Film Festival and Atlanta Jewish Film Festival paving the way for bigger opportunities. The recent announcement, following the end of this year's Atlanta Film Festival, seems well-timed. Escobar notes, "It's like the stars aligning, showing us what's possible," according to WABE.