Sundance Institute Brings $80 Million to Utah With 2012 Sundance Film Festival

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Park City, UT — Sundance Institute today announced that the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, which took place in Park City, Utah, in January, generated an overall economic impact of $80 million for the State of Utah, according to the independent annual economic and demographic study conducted by the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the David Eccles School of Business (BEBR).

The Economic Report, posted in full on the Sundance Institute website, also found that the 2012 Festival: supported over 1,731 jobs; generated over $69 million in media exposure; provided nearly $6.9 million in tax revenue; and was attended by more than 46,000 people, a 2% increase over the prior year. More than 66 percent of festival attendees traveled from outside of Utah, more than 5,700 visitors were from international locations and more than 44 percent of tourist attendees indicated that they intend to visit Utah again during the next year. 2012 figures show gains in all categories.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Nationwide it is proven that the arts boost tourism, create jobs, increase educational outreach and support local businesses, and we are proud to be a strong example of this. We will continue to raise awareness of the importance of corporate, government, foundation and individual funding for the arts because of the critical role the arts play in creating strong, resourceful communities.”
“We are proud to be the official Sundance Film Festival host state and appreciate both the economic value it brings to Utah as well as the invaluable cultural and artistic benefit to residents and visitors alike,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “Our collaboration with Sundance Institute is multidimensional, and we are grateful to continue working together to attract the attention of international business leaders, highlight Utah’s commerce friendly dynamic and drive economic benefit to the State.”

Since 2001, Sundance Institute, through its annual Sundance Film Festival, has generated in excess of one-half billion dollars in economic activity for Utah. The Festival is the state’s largest annual international event, bolstering tourism and attracting worldwide media attention.

Jill Miller, Managing Director of Sundance Institute, said, “The 2012 Sundance Film Festival was a resounding success from a number of perspectives, and we are pleased to see the positive impact it continues to have each year on the State’s economy. The event is a collaborative community effort involving local vendors, patrons and volunteers and it brings tremendous visibility to the State with press coverage from around the world. Utah and the Sundance Film Festival are synonymous with the best in American independent film and this year was no exception.”

Notable events at the 2012 Festival included the annual Salt Lake Gala, attended by Governor Herbert, legislators and community leaders. In the Governor’s welcoming remarks, he commented on the value of hosting the Festival in Utah, as evidenced by its cultural and economic impact on the state. Over 5,000 local high school students participated in the Institute’s Festival High School Screenings Program, where filmmakers presented their work and engaged in discussions with students about an array of cultural, political and social issues. The Festival also welcomed Hill Air Force Base for a special screening at Ogden’s Egyptian Theatre. The Utah Museum for Contemporary Art was again the official Salt Lake City venue for the Festival’s New Frontier program, which was free and open to the public. And, upon the conclusion of the Festival, many Utah locals attended Best of Fest, free public screenings of the Festival’s award-winning films.

Business Exposure for the State of Utah
During the 2012 Festival, Zions Bank and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development co-hosted the fifth annual Sundance Institute Business + Technology Connection, a networking event targeting CEOs and other top-level executives in the fields of technology, finance, sports and more who visit Utah specifically to attend the Festival. Attendees represented companies including Oracle, Adobe, Expedia, HP, Hilton Hotels and Microsoft. Keynote speakers included Governor Herbert, Scott Anderson, Danny Glover, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Redford and John Wamock.

Building Audiences at Home and Abroad
Between the announcement of the film program in late November 2011 through wrap-up articles in February 2012, Sundance Institute and the 2012 Festival generated more than 35,224 print and online articles. From January 15 to February 15, 2012, the Festival generated 2,400 television pieces. In total, publicity value from the Festival totaled more than $69 million.

Over 950 registered press from 20 countries attended the Festival, including Australia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Macedonia, Kosovo, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan, Russia and Venezuela.

Sundance Institute’s social media and website content strategy continues to expand to reach new audiences across the world to inspire dialogue and raise awareness for independent film. The Institute’s website,, had 1.5 million unique visitors from 210 countries. Top countries included the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany. In addition, the Festival has over 306,000 Facebook fans and over 127,000 Twitter followers.

Economic Report Methodology
The Economic Report findings were generated using an economic impact model known as RIMS II, developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. The economic impact study measures the impact of the Sundance Film Festival on jobs, wages, and value-added (or gross state product) on the state of Utah during a two-week period in January 2012. It also provides an estimate of the fiscal impacts that result from the increased economic activity generated by the Festival during the study period. Fiscal impacts refer to the effects of the Festival on state and local tax collections.

Estimating the economic impact of the 2012 Festival was a two-part process. The first phase of the study estimated the economic impacts of direct expenditures made by the Institute to produce the Festival. The second phase estimated the impacts of spending by Festival attendees.

University of Utah Bureau of Economic and Business Research
Established in 1932, the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) is an applied research center in the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. BEBR’s mission is to conduct and support research related to the structure of the Utah economy, its resources, and its potential for expansion. Since its inception, BEBR has been a primary source of information on the Utah economy. BEBR’s professional staff gathers and analyzes data specific to both Utah and the Rocky Mountain Region to identify those factors which influence the state’s economic growth.

The Sundance Film Festival
A program of the non-profit Sundance Institute, the Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, The Cove, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, Trouble the Water, and Napoleon Dynamite, and through its New Frontier initiative, has showcased the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julien, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney.

2012 Festival sponsors included: Presenting Sponsors – Entertainment Weekly, HP, Acura, Sundance Channel and Chase SapphireSM; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe Systems Incorporated, Bing™, Canon, DIRECTV, Focus Forward, a partnership between GE and CINELAN, Southwest Airlines, Sprint and Yahoo!; Sustaining Sponsors – Bertolli® Frozen Meal Soups, FilterForGood®, a partnership between Brita® and Nalgene®, Grey Goose® Vodka, Hilton HHonors and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, L’Oréal Paris, Stella Artois®, Timberland, Time Warner Inc. and YouTubeTM. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helped defray costs associated with the 10-day Festival and the nonprofit Sundance Institute’s year-round programs for independent film and theatre artists.

Sundance Institute
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, I Am My Own Wife, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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