Sundance Institute Brings $86.4 Million to Utah with 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Park City, Utah — Sundance Institute today announced that the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, which took place in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah in January, generated an overall economic impact of  $86.4 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 2014 Festival: supported over 1,434 jobs; generated over $65.1 million in international media exposure; provided nearly $6.9 million in tax revenue; and was attended by more than 45,300 people. At least 69 percent of festival attendees traveled from outside of Utah, including more than 3,500 visitors from 29 international locations, and more than 36 percent of tourist attendees indicated that they intend to visit Utah again during the next year.

Over the last five years, Sundance Institute, through its annual Sundance Film Festival, has brought Utah more than $369.8 million dollars in economic activity, $31.1 million dollars in tax revenue, more than 7,500 jobs and more than 225,048 festival attendees. Over the last ten years, the Festival has generated in excess of $500 million in economic activity for Utah. The Festival is the state’s largest annual international event, bolstering tourism and attracting worldwide media attention.

Laurie Hopkins Co-Managing Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Over the last 30 years, our primary goal with the Sundance Film Festival is to provide a platform for audiences to connect with independent filmmakers and their work. Through the research conducted by the University of Utah, we are able to see the tremendous financial impact our event has also had on the Utah economy, particularly the small businesses and local vendors who help put on the Festival.”

“The consistent economic benefit to our state from the Sundance Film Festival is the perfect example of cultural tourism shaping a strong and diverse economy,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “Beyond the tax revenue, tourism dollars and global exposure, the cultural benefits to hosting the Sundance Film Festival in Utah leave a lasting impact in our classrooms and communities.”

Sarah Pearce, Co-Managing Director of Sundance Institute, said, “The consistent attendance numbers from out-of-state visitors year over year shows that audiences and industry professionals make their visit to Utah a priority. We are proud to partner with the State of Utah, The Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Utah Film Commission to showcase Utah’s culture, gorgeous landscape and business-friendly climate.”

More than 14,000 Utah residents participated in special community screenings and events as part of this year’s Festival. The annual Salt Lake Galaand world premiere screening of the documentary MITT by director Greg Whiteley was attended by Governor Herbert, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his family, Utah legislators and community leaders. In the Governor’s welcoming remarks, he commented on the Festival’s cultural and economic value in Utah. Also, the Festival’s student screening programs reached more than7,000college and secondary students, who discussed with filmmakers the art of storytelling and an array of social and cultural issues. Over 600 complimentarytickets were given to 72 Utah-based non-profit and community leaders to attend  Festival screenings via the Institute’s Outreach Ticket program. An additional 1,300 local residents attended Festival Community Outreach film screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and Utah County. The Festival also welcomed Hill Air Force Base for a special screening at Ogden’s Egyptian Theatre. Upon the conclusion of the Festival, 5,300 Utah locals attended Best of Fest, free public screenings of the Festival’s award-winning films.

Building Audiences at Home and Abroad
Between the announcement of the film program in December 2013 through wrap-up articles in February 2014, Sundance Institute generated more than 48,100 print and online articles and more than 1,600 television pieces about the Festival. In total, publicity value from the Festival totaled more than $65.1 million. Over 940 registered press from 30 countries attended the Festival, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and Sweden.

Sundance Institute’s social media and website content strategy continues to expand to reach new audiences across the world. From December 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014, the Institute’s website,, had more than 20 million page views and 9 million unique visitors from 218 countries. Top countries outside the United States included the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany. In addition, the Festival now has nearly 1.5 million fans and followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+ platforms.

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 ten day period in January 2014. 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 2014 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®
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, the Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Little Miss Sunshine, An Education, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, The Cove, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, 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. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2014 Festival sponsors included: Presenting Sponsors – HP, Acura, Sundance Channel and Chase Sapphire Preferred®; Leadership Sponsors – Airbnb, DIRECTV, Entertainment Weekly, LensCrafters, Southwest Airlines, Sprint and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – Adobe, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Brita® FilterForGood®, in partnership with Nalgene®, Hilton HHonors and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Ketel One Vodka, L’Oréal Paris, MorningStar Farms®, Omnicom, Quaker Oats Company, Stella Artois® and Time Warner Inc. 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 helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the 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 connect audiences to their work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling as art and as a compelling and powerful way to inform, inspire and unite people. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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