With the 2015 Sundance Film Festival just a few months away, I felt like taking a look back at the 2014 event – in particular this "by the numbers" infographic published by Cultural Weekly. Unlike most crappy infographics which are just articles tortured into vaguely graphical presentation, this one mostly makes good visual use of the data by comparing the last few years of the Festival against one another.
Most of the differences in the year-over-year data are so slight that they elicit a mere shrug of the shoulders – audience size and number of films accepted are limited by factors like time and the number of available venues in Park City*. There doesn't seem like there's much more room in town into which the Festival could grow, even if the local residents would tolerate it.
The Festival's economic impact on the state of Utah, however, seems more variable, for reasons unexplained in the infographic itself. What happened in 2012, I wonder, that brought in that extra estimated $10 million? One has to dig into studies and do actual reading to find out.
Speaking of actual reading, the most interesting thing about the infographic is the short companion article by Cultural Weekly publisher Adam Leipzig, who wryly comments that ". . . if we were to do a balance sheet for the Eighth Studio, the indie film industry, it would be bleeding more red than a Nicolas Winding Refn movie."
*I'm aware that the Festival has venues in other cities around Utah, but those shows are generally additional screenings of the films that are played in Park City. A smart move, but I don't think it would allow for an expansion of programming.