The recession didn’t greatly impact this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which (economically speaking) did incredibly well. A recent study by the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) reveals the 2009 Sundance Film Festival generated an overall economic impact of a record $91.2 million for the state of Utah, supported close to 2,000 jobs, generated more than $18 million in media exposure and provided millions in tax revenues. These findings, announced by the nonprofit Sundance Institute, were generated using an economic impact model known as RIMS II, developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Since 1994, Sundance (which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year) has brought in more than $550 million in economic activity to the state of Utah. The 2009 festival attracted an estimated 40,291 visitors, of which 66 percent (or 26,592) were from out-of0state or abroad. As festival organizers predicted, due to the effects of the global financial crisis, this year’s figure is down 11 percent from the estimated 45,056 people who attended in 2008. The largest share of nonresident attendees traveled from California, followed by New York and Florida.
“I am proud of the Sundance Institute’s contributions to arts and culture on the national and international stage,” says Jill Miller, the Sundance Institute’s managing director. “These numbers demonstrate that the Sundance Film Festival plays a vital role as an economic driver within the state of Utah, supporting job growth, generating tax revenue and adding value to the state’s commitment to tourism. Broadly speaking, this data illustrates the vital role of arts in society, not only in terms of fostering dialogue but also as a contributor to economic success.”
The 2010 Sundance Film Festival will be held January 21 – January 31. For more information on the renowned fest, visit to www.sundance.org/festival.