Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert, along with the Zions Bank trade mission delegation, joined key business leaders and independent film industry representatives at the opening reception for the Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong at The Metroplex. Hosted by Zions Bank, the presenting sponsor of Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong, the reception concluded the Utah Trade Mission to Hong Kong and greater China.

“The Sundance Film Festival is a longstanding Utah tradition that showcases our state’s spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship,” Gov. Herbert said. “The theme of this trade mission has been to exchange ideas and build relationships, and it’s only appropriate to conclude at an event like this.”

The Sundance Film Festival is the largest annual international event in Utah. In 2015 alone, the Festival generated more than $83 million in economic impact for Utah and attracted over 45,000 visitors, including more than 3,000 from 30 different countries.

Sundance Institute hosts additional festivals in London and Los Angeles, California. Each location was selected for its rich cinematic history and engaged community of independent filmmakers, film-loving audiences and local cultural partners. The Institute has long supported artists in each region through its annual Labs, grants and other programs.

The Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong will present the Hong Kong premieres of 11 films from the Sundance Film Festival, including several award winners: Advantageous; Cartel Land; Dope; James White; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl; People, Places, Things; Songs My Brothers Taught Me; The End of the Tour; The Stanford Prison Experiment; The Witch and The Wolfpack. Filmmakers Matthew Heineman, Crystal Moselle, Jim Strouse, Jennifer Phang and Kyle Patrick Alvarez will travel with the program to engage in post-screening Q&As with audiences. New this year, the festival will also present a Filmmaker Panel and a Film Music Day Lab led by Peter Golub, Director of Sundance Institute’s Film Music Program.

“At the same time that we’re expanding Utah’s entrepreneurial spirit overseas on our trade mission, it makes sense for us to share a cultural event like the Sundance Film Festival with the rest of the world,” said Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO. “The Sundance Institute brings vibrancy to our state’s cultural landscape, which is why Zions Bank is proud to be the presenting sponsor of Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong.”

The Zions Bank Utah Trade Mission to Hong Kong and greater China is supported by World Trade Center Utah, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, U.S. Commercial Service and Sundance Institute.