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The Sundance Festival is going all-in on tech this year

Williamsburg or the old west?

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Now in its 37th year, the Sundance Film Festival is no longer the unsullied celebration of indie film that it once was.

Blame the lure of filthy lucre, sure, but the ever-intrusive world of tech is also at fault. Indie film is no longer a matter of storytelling that sells. It’s also about using new tech – whether it’s a GoPro or drones – in the service of that story. Hell, one of last year’s breakout films at the festival, Tangerine, was shot entirely on an iPhone.

Here are just a few of the ways the tech world is repping at this year’s Sundance.

Everyone’s favorite German, Werner Herzog, is premiering his latest documentary Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, commissioned by the cybersecurity firm NetScout, and featuring interviews with a number of tech visionaries, futurists, and hackers.

Virtual reality continues strong-arming its way into film, and they’re pushing especially hard at this year’s event. This is the second year Sundance has included VR experiences among the official programming – you can watch more than 20 of them now with Google Cardboard. Samsung has announced a year-long partnership with the Sundance Institute, as well as a new VR movie studio in New York.

YouTube presented a shorts program yesterday and is running a filmmaking workshop at the event. And Vimeo took the opportunity to unveil their “Share the Screen” initiative to offer financial and networking support to female filmmakers.

After a successful test run at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Uber and Airbus have partnered to provide on-demand helicopter rides. Despite the Park City Sheriff’s cease-and-desist order on Friday, the service is still operating.

Now go forth (and go indie).

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