Sundance Festival Sets London Return for 2016 With New West End Venue

Robert Redford Sundance - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Robert Redford Sundance - H 2015

The 2015 edition of the U.K. spinoff was canned in January after three years at the British capital's 02 Arena.

After taking this year off, the Sundance Film Festival is set to return to London in 2016.

The 2015 edition of the event, an offshoot of the original U.S. festival that first landed in the U.K. in 2012, was canceled in January amid concerns regarding the suitability of its venue, the 02 Arena, mainly its distance from London's city center.

However, organizers on Thursday said that Sundance London will return next year and unveiled a new venue, the currently under-development seven-screen, 1,000-seater Picturehouse Central in the British capital’s West End.

Unlike the 02, a vast 20,000-capacity multi-use arena that houses stadium-sized music shows and performances such as last year's Monty Python: Live (Mostly), the new Picturehouse — set to be the flagship theater for a chain of art house cinemas across the U.K. — is likely a better fit for the event.

No dates have yet been revealed. Last year, the four-day festival screened 21 features taken from the 2014 U.S. edition.



Sundance on Thursday also announced the dates for its second event, in Hong Kong, later this year. The Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong will take place Sept. 17-27 in Kowloon Bay’s new cineplex, The Metroplex. Following on from 2014’s inaugural festival that saw the local premieres of Whiplash, The Skeleton Twins, Life After Beth and The Case Against 8, this year’s event will include the premieres of 10 independent films.

"We’ve nurtured filmmakers around the globe for many years now and these experiences have brought a rich perspective to all we do," said Sundance Institute founder and president Robert Redford in a statement. "Exploring international opportunities for the diverse landscape of American independent storytelling is an exciting proposition, and something to which we are equally committed."

Added Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper: "These events allow us to extend the tremendous energy and excitement of our Sundance Film Festival to adventurous audiences in Hong Kong and London."