Brands activating at the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival from Jan. 18-28 found an increase of sponsorship opportunities. For the first time, all official events will be fully sponsored. That means more talks, more live music and more networking at one of the industry's premier gatherings.
About 30 partner events are on the bill, including filmmaker and artist receptions hosted by Audible, United Airlines and Adobe.
"We work closely with partners to custom-create activations that meet their business objectives while also aligning with our mission," says Mary Sadeghy, head of partnerships and events at Sundance.
For example, Canon, now in its 14th year at the festival, is bringing back its Creative Studio. The venue is designed as a "cozy retreat" for auteurs with an emphasis on directors of photography and cinematographers. The camera brand also highlights films and TV series that use Canon products through its panel programming.
"We provide various shooting stations and hands-on demos throughout the Creative Studio where guests can test drive all the latest Canon equipment," says Alan Lewis, senior product marketing specialist.
Acura also returns for its 14th year. In 2024, the automotive brand debuts a redesigned and fully immersive Acura House of Energy. It will host interviews, panels, mixers and parties with actors, writers and directors, offering daily refreshments and live music from an in-house DJ.
Meanwhile, United Airlines provides both a respite and a workspace for industry members in the mornings. In the afternoons and evenings, the venue transforms to host panels and discussions, such as the Latino filmmakers network and Film Fatales, which advocates for parity in the film industry and supports an inclusive community. And through a bidding platform, United members will have the chance to get "unique, once-in-a-lifetime ways" to redeem frequent flyer miles for tickets experiences.
"It's so important to partner with organizations that reflect that intersection of passion points—the things that resonate with our customers, employees, communities and other stakeholders that we serve," says Jennifer Entenman, United's managing director of global sponsorships and inclusive partnerships.
Here’s how five other key brands are activating:
The tech giant set up its first-ever dedicated space, “Adobe on Main” as a hub for the indie film community. Among other activations, the presenting sponsor and official editing platform will also pair with Variety magazine and IndieWire to host panel discussions such as "Diversifying Storytelling in Film" and "Creator Collaborations in Filmmaking."
Returning as a presenting sponsor, the financial services firm will run a two-story lounge and entertainment space exclusively for Sapphire Reserve cardmembers. The brand will host Q&A panels with directors and talent of films premiering at the festival. Chase Sapphire will also host a kick-off dance party during the first Saturday of the festival.
The outdoor gear company will provide a limited edition of the Fuego jacket as "Cotopaxi x Sundance," which will be given to filmmakers and jurors. The brand will also host a dedicated space offering products and will integrate into some activities at its local retail store Cotopaxi Basecamp.
Over 50 Shutterstock editorial photographers, videographers, editors and production staff will cover all premieres, parties, panels and related events. The stock image and music company will also host the Official Sundance Film Festival Portrait studio. By invitation-only, celebrities and VIP pass holders can sit for a professional photo shoot with Shutterstock celeb photographer Presley Ann. Shutterstock Studios will also host a viewing and discussion on its documentary Surfing Through The Odds.
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