Sundance Institute plans to distribute Sundance Film Festival U.S.A. The groundbreaking initiative expands the 10-day Sundance Film Festival held in Park City to a nationwide audience Thursday night, Jan. 28, 2010, by dispatching eight filmmakers and their films to select cities outside of Utah.

"The concept behind Sundance Film Festival U.S.A. is to ignite dialogue as people across the country engage in a collective film experience. It is an extension, really, of the work we have done for decades: supporting the independent voice, bringing artists to the table and inserting art more and more into the social context of how we live," said Robert Redford, Sundance Institute president and founder of the Sundance Film Festival. "We hope by speaking with artists about their work and experiencing the Festival as it is happening, audiences will be inspired to share opinions, discuss the key issues of our day and reflect on the role art plays in social change."

Audiences will experience screenings direct from the Festival in their home town art houses Jan. 28,and engage in live conversation with Festival artists just like they would if they attended the Sundance Film Fest. An introduction video featuring Redford and highlights from the Festival will precede the screenings. 

Selections for films and filmmakers traveling to the eight cities will take place shortly after the programming announcement in December. All films will be selected from the official Sundance Film Festival program. Tickets will be available through each theatre's individual box office. Southwest Airlines is the official airline partner of Sundance Film Festival U.S.A. Participating cities and their theatres are:

Ann Arbor, MI -- Michigan Theater

Brookline, MA -- Coolidge Corner Theatre

Brooklyn, NY -- BAM 

Chicago, IL -- Music Box Theatre

Los Angeles, CA -- Downtown Independent

Madison, WI -- Sundance Cinemas Madison

Nashville, TN -- The Belcourt Theatre

San Francisco, CA -- Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

The kickoff of the Festival's anticipated awards weekend which begins Jan. 21, 2010 will be held that same Thursday. Filmgoers get the North American premiere of the socio-political documentary "The Shock Doctrine," closely based on the book by award-winning journalist Naomi Klein. "The Shock Doctrine," from directors Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross was first presented as a work-in-progress at the Berlin Film Festival and will inspire debate and controversy with its startling and graphic expose of how shock is used to implement economic policy in vulnerable environments. Called a "whirlwind of contemporary socio-political world history" (KINO) and "sober, polished and persuasive" (Variety), THE SHOCK DOCTRINE will screen at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, followed by a conversation with the filmmakers, Naomi Klein and Robert Redford. 

"Each January the Sundance Film Festival is home to a collective energy around independent filmmakers and their work: there is a definite sharing of ideas, emotions and conversation," said John Cooper, Director, Sundance Film Festival. "And each January Bob Redford makes a point of reminding audiences that art and ideas know no boundaries. So we thought, it is time to experiment with physically expanding our reach."

The non-profit Sundance Film Festival presents dramatic and documentary feature-length films from emerging and established artists, innovative short films, filmmaker forums and panels, live music performances ranging from solo acts to film composer events, cutting-edge media installations, and engaging community and student programs the last two weekends of every January.

More information.