The Sundance Film Festival is coming to … Fort Mason?

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the movie industry to a grinding halt, but for the nation’s premier film festival, the show must go on.

The Sundance Film Festival just announced that the 2021 iteration of their event (Jan. 28-Feb. 3) will take place online, as well as at independent theaters around the country.

In San Francisco, the Sundance Institute will partner with the Roxie Theater to screen films at the Fort Mason drive-in. Other California outposts for the festival include the Rose Bowl Drive-in in Pasadena and Mission Tiki Drive-In in Montclair (partnered with American Cinematheque).

In an interview with KQED, Roxie director of programming Isabel Fondevila said that the partnership has been in the works since the summer. In addition to offering logistical funding and sponsorship support, Sundance will also let their partners keep all the income from ticket sales.

RELATED: As coronavirus shuts down SF theaters, do hourly workers face an uncertain future?

In addition to a creative new approach to in-person screenings, the festival will also double down on its digital offerings, which include more than 70 films, plus panels and other special events. To maintain some semblance of a festival atmosphere, each film will premiere online at a specific time slot with a live Q&A following the screening. Two days after a film has premiered, it will be able to be streamed on-demand for 24 hours to offer films a chance to build momentum off of industry buzz.

This is just the latest in a series of creative efforts that the Roxie Theater has made to keep operating during the pandemic, from hosting virtual screenings to organizing outdoor “Dinner and a Drive-in” events at Pier 70.

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