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Sundance Institute’s Revamped Next Fest Set For LA In August

By | Tuesday May 20, 2014 @ 10:30am PDT

Sundance InstituteThe Sundance Institute‘s summer event in Los Angeles has a new name, format and location. Next Fest — which is adding music to this year’s lineup — is set for August 8-10 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, with a kickoff event August 7 at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Next Fest is an extension of the Next section at the Sundance Film Festival, which showcases stylistically adventurous and bold films. Programming announcements will be made in the summer for the fest, which last year was called Next Weekend. “At its core, Next Fest is about celebrating artists who push creative boundaries,” Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper said. “This unique program presents an opportunity for audiences in Los Angeles to explore the outer edges and intersections of film and music.”

Related: Cannes: Even Sundance Pics Are Selling

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Sundance Institute Selects 2014 Directors & Screenwriters Fellows

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 12:11pm PDT

SUI wordmark 2 color PMSThe Sundance Film Festival is long over this year but the moviemaking at the Sundance Institute is just getting into full swing this summer. Today the Institute announced the 13 diverse projects that will participate in its annual Directors and Screenwriters Labs starting later this month (see full list below). Set at the Sundance Resort in Utah, the Directors Lab goes from May 26 – June 19 while the Screenwriters’ Lab runs from June 21-26. And the young filmmakers will have a plethora of experience to draw from. Sundance founder Robert Redford is joined as a Creative Advisors for the 2014 Fellows by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow as well as Oscar wining Little Miss Sunshine and Hunger Games: Catching Fire scribe Michael Arndt, Miguel Arteta, John August, Walter Bernstein, Scott Z. Burns, Joan Darling, Deena Goldstone, Keith Gordon, Twilight helmer and Sundance alumni Catherine Hardwicke, Ed Harris, Azazel Jacobs, Brian Kates, Christine Lahti, Kasi Lemmons, Josh Marston, Pamela Martin, acclaimed author and screenwriter Walter Mosley, Howard Rodman, Ira Sachs, Marjane Satrapi, Susan Shilliday, Peter Sollett, Dana Stevens, Wesley Strick, Chris Terrio, Joan Tewkesbury, Athina Tsangari, Tyger Williams, and Erin Cressida Wilson.
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Sundance Institute Creates 2014 Episodic Story Lab For TV & Online Writers

By | Wednesday March 19, 2014 @ 12:00pm PDT

sundance_institute_logo_detail_02The Sundance Institute today announced an expansion of its labs program into television and online content, establishing the first Sundance Institute Episodic Story Lab, to be held this fall at the Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah. Norman and Lyn Lear are the founding supporters backing the Sundance Institute’s foray into small-screen storytelling in which participants will spend six days developing scripted and online series, stories, and characters with a panel of mentors in drama and comedy writing. The org’s Feature Film head Michelle Satter also will lead the new program. The Sundance Institute has held its development labs for three decades, but 2014 is becoming the year of the “Episodic”; earlier this month Austin’s South By Southwest Film Festival was the first major fest to introduce an Episodic programming section dedicated to scripted TV and web content. Said Sundance President and Founder Robert Redford: “Sundance Institute has always worked to develop and support a next generation of independent artists. As more of those artists look to the opportunities in television and online platforms, it is only natural that we expand our labs to address the unique needs of serialized work.” 2014 Sundance Institute Episodic Story Lab participants will be accepted by invitation only.

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Sundance Institute/NHK Award Goes To Mark Rosenberg

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 6:48am PST

sundance_institute_logo_detail_02Mark Rosenberg, director of the upcoming film Ad Inexplorata, is the winner of this year’s Sundance Institute/NHK Award. The annual award recognizes and supports a visionary filmmaker on his or her next film. Sundance Institute staff work closely with the winner throughout the year, providing creative and strategic support through the development, financing and production of their films. Ad Inexplorata is a multi-media fictional story about Captain William D. Stanaforth, an astronaut alone on a one-way mission toward the unknown. Mark Strong is attached to star in the lead role. Previous winners of this award include Beasts Of The Southern Wild by Benh Zeitlin and Cherien Dabis’ May In The Summer, which had its world premiere at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

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Sundance: Short Film Winners Announced

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 10:06pm PST

Sundance2014_badge__140109214059__140116020608Sundance Institute tonight presented jury prizes and honorable mentions in short filmmaking at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The Short Film Grand Jury Prize went to Of God And Dogs, about a Syrian soldier who confesses to killing a man he knew was innocent. This year’s Short Film program comprised 66 short films selected from a record 8,161 submissions. In addition to this evening’s ceremony, other films in other competition categories will be honored Saturday at the Festival’s Awards Ceremony. Those January 25 awards will be hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally — both of whom have films at Sundance this year.  In the meantime, check out the full list of short film winners and honorees here: Read More »

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Sundance: Sundance Institute Reveals Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award Recipients

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 5:15pm PST

Sundance Institute logoPARK CITY, UT — Sundance Institute and Mahindra today announced the winners of the 2014 Sundance Institute |Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world. The winning directors and projects are Hong Khaou, MONSOON from Vietnam/UK; Tobias Lindholm, A WAR from Denmark; Ashlee Page, ARCHIVE from Australia; and Neeraj Ghaywan, FLY AWAY SOLO from India.

The awards were presented at a private ceremony at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, currently underway in Park City, Utah.

Now in its fourth year, the Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award is part of a multifaceted collaboration that exemplifies a commitment to and support of world cinema by the Mahindra Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in India known throughout the world for its dedication to excellence and to social responsibility, and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world’s leading cultural organizations.

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Sundance: Sundance Institute Pulls Back Curtain On Global Short-Film Challenge

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 4:15pm PST

sundance-headerPark City, UT — Sundance Institute, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today announced a new project that will harness the power of independent film to create a global conversation about extreme hunger and poverty. The Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge will spur the production of documentary and narrative films – through a global open call for three-to-eight-minute submissions – that will celebrate imaginative solutions real people are creating to overcome the challenges of extreme hunger and poverty.

The project supports Sundance Institute’s mission to empower independent storytellers and connect their work to communities around. The Institute is working with to manage the online call for entries. Winning films will receive a $10,000 grant and premiere at a private event at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Users can submit through July 1, 2014. There is no fee to apply. More information can be found at

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Sundance Institute Selects 12 Projects For January Screenwriters Lab

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 11:52am PST

SUI wordmark 2 color PMSThis year’s group of independent screenwriters and their projects chosen for Sundance Institute‘s January Screenwriters Lab hail from the U.S., Latin America, Europe and China. Led by Artistic Director Howard Rodman, the Fellows will work with filmmakers including Dustin Lance Black, Naomi Foner, John Gatins, Michael Goldenberg, Erik Jendresen, Patty Jenkins, Kasi Lemmons, Tobias Lindholm, Walter Mosley, Marti Noxon, Jon Raymond, Susan Shilliday, Zach Sklar, Peter Straughan, Quentin Tarantino, and Bill Wheeler. Sundance Institute Feature Film Program fellows who have recently been recognized with awards for their work include Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda), Andrew Dosunmu (Mother Of George), David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox). The lab runs from January 10-15 at the Sundance Resort in Utah. Here is the full list: Read More »

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Sundance Institute Taps Tabitha Jackson As Director Of Documentary Film Program

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 2:59pm PST

The nonprofit is crossing the pond for the newest member of its senior leadership team. Tabitha Jackson, who most recently served as Arts Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 in London, is joining Sundance Institute as Director, Documentary Film Program. Reporting directly to Executive Director Keri Putnam, her role will include planning and implementing a range of strategic partnerships, granting $1.8 million per year to independent documentaries globally and hosting five annual Labs for documentary filmmakers, among other activities. The 20-year industry veteran will relocate to LA and oversee a staff of eight, starting December 6.

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Sundance’s NEXT Weekend Fest Unveils Lineup

By | Tuesday July 16, 2013 @ 10:39am PDT

Hannah Fidell’s A Teacher, Chad Hartigan’s This Is Martin Bonner and other Sundance buzz-makers and world premieres will screen at the Sundance Institute’s inaugural NEXT Weekend Film Festival from August 8-11 in Los Angeles. Here are the 10 newly unveiled titles set to screen at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre, Cinefamily, Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, MOCA, and the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television: Read More »

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Sundance Institute Honors Roger Ebert With Posthumous Award

Pete Hammond

The late film critic Roger Ebert and award-winning Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler were the honorees at last night’s third annual Celebrate Sundance Institute event at The Lot in Hollywood. Ebert’s widow Chaz was on hand to accept the Vanguard Leadership Award for her husband, who died April 4 but had hoped to attend in person. The Sundance Institute announced that the Roger Ebert Scholarship For Film Criticism would be established in order to promote ”passionate and articulate aspiring young film critics” in the legendary critic’s memory. Sundance founder Robert Redford presented the award to Chaz Ebert and recounted his own personal connection to Roger. Redford recalled meeting him in 1980, right as the actor-director was starting to formulate plans for the development of the Sundance Lab, even before the Festival was started several years later. Ebert, there as a journalist, was interested in covering the beginnings of the Sundance Lab, which would foster independent film. Read More »

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Sundance London Adds 3 Features To Program Lineup

By | Friday March 22, 2013 @ 2:19am PDT

Sundance London, the film and music festival whose sophomore edition kicks off next month, has added three features to its roster. Stuart Zicherman’s A.C.O.D. starring Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clark Duke; Sean Ellis’ Sundance Audience Award winner Metro Manila; and Jeff Nichols’ Mud, which premiered in Cannes last year before bowing Stateside in the Spotlight section of Sundance 2013, will join previously announced titles. The festival, which showcases American indie cinema, runs April 25-28 at London’s O2 Arena.

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Sundance Institute’s Cullen Conly Becomes ICM Partners Motion Picture Lit Agent

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 3:30pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Cullen ConlyEXCLUSIVE: Cullen Conly, who has been Manager of the Feature Film Program of the Sundance Institute, has joined ICM Partners as a lit agent in its Motion Picture Department. At Sundance, he was involved in selection and project support for the Screenwriters Labs, Directors Labs and the New Frontier Story Labs. Among the filmmakers he helped nurture there are Beasts Of The Southern Wild‘s Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Fruitvale‘s Ryan Coogler, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ David Lowery, Martha Marcy May Marlene‘s Sean Durkin, Compliance‘s Craig Zobel and Nobody Walks‘ Lena Dunham and Ry Russo-Young.

Before Sundance, Conly worked in development and production at Paramount Vantage. He joins ICM Partners in May.

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Sundance Institute To Launch Next Weekend Film Fest In August

By | Monday March 4, 2013 @ 2:00pm PST

Next Weekend Film FestivalSix venues in Los Angeles will play host to the new Sundance Institute-backed Next Weekend Film Festival, an extension of Sundance’s stylistically adventurous NEXT < => section to be held August 9-11, 2013. The Next Weekend line-up will include eight unreleased features in addition to previously screened films, panels, a shorts program, and the half-day ShortsLab: Los Angeles filmmaking workshop. The fest will be headquartered at West Hollywood’s Sundance Sunset Cinema with additional screenings held at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre, Cinefamily, Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, MOCA, and the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.

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Sundance Awards 2013: ‘Fruitvale’ & ‘Blood Brother’ Win Grand Jury; Dramatic Directing Goes To Jill Soloway Of ‘Afternoon Delight’

Fruitvale and Blood Brother were the big winners tonight at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards. Fruitvale, about the fatal shooting of 22-year old Oscar Grant on San Francisco’s BART by security guards in 2009, won both the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Dramatic and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award. “This will not be the last time you guys walked to a podium,” said former Fox Filmed Entertainment Co-Chair Tom Rothman as he gave the Grand Jury Prize to the Fruitvale filmmakers. The documentary Blood Brother also had a double win tonight. It took home the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary and the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary. Jill Soloway won the Directing Award for U.S. Dramatic for Afternoon Delight and Zachary Heinzerling took the Directing Award for U.S. Documentary for Cutie And The Boxer. The fast-paced ceremony was hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who had his own directorial feature debut Don Jon’s Addiction premiere at this year’s Festival and was picked up by Relativity Media for a summer release.  Check out the full list of tonight’s winners:

U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Award

Fruitvale / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ryan Coogler) — The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008. Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray.

A very emotional director Ryan Coogler gave … Read More »

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Sundance: Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards Names Winners

By | Tuesday January 22, 2013 @ 5:06pm PST

Five international filmmakers today won the Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards at the Sundance Film Festival. The awards went to Sarthak Dasgupta’s The Music Teacher (India) Jonas Carpignano’s A Chjana (Italy/US), Aly Muritiba’s The Man Who Killed My Beloved Dead (Brazil) And Co-Directors Vendela Vida & Eva Weber’s Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name (UK/Germany/US). Each film receives $10,000 plus attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and selected advisors and participation in a Feature Film Program Lab. Rohit Khattar, Chairman of Mumbai Mantra, and the Sundance Institute’s Michelle Satter, and Paul Federbush presented the awards. Now in its third year, the award is intended to recognize and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world.

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Sundance: Despite Strong Showing This Year, Women Still Behind Men In Indie Film, Study Says

By | Monday January 21, 2013 @ 1:15pm PST

Women have made up 29.8% of all the filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival over the last decade, a new study released today reveals. The report, Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities For Independent Women Filmmakers, comes in a year that sees for the first time female-helmed films making up half of the titles in the festival’s U.S. Dramatic competition. The Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles commissioned the study and looked at the gender of 11,197 producers, directors, writers, editors and cinematographers in 820 American movies programmed for Sundance from 2002-2012. While the Sundance data remains mostly flat, the report shows a stark contrast for women in the indie world and the studio world: The study finds female filmmakers made up 23.9% of directors in all categories at Sundance from 2002-2012, but just 4.4% among the top 100 box office movies over the same time frame. The study says that “gendered financial barriers” and “male-dominated industry networking” are seen as the two top reasons why women’s growth in the industry is stunted.

The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC conducted the research. Read More »

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Sundance London Film And Music Festival Books Two More Years In British Capital

The inaugural Sundance London Film and Music Festival ran in April this year, hosting the UK and European premieres of movies that debuted in Park City in January, along with musical performances by 17 acts. Today, Robert Redford, the Sundance Institute and AEG Europe announced they’ve renewed the event for two more years. The 2013 Sundance London Festival will be held from April 25-28 at London’s O2 Arena. The program, which will again feature new work by American filmmakers and music artists, will be drawn up by the Sundance Institute. A series of panels and workshops is also being planned as a forum Read More »

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Disney’s Sean Bailey Joins Sundance Institute Board

By | Thursday May 24, 2012 @ 10:26am PDT


Los Angeles, CA —May 24, 2012 -  Sundance Institute today announced three new members of the Institute’s Board of Trustees: Sean Bailey, Anand Mahindra and Jacki Zehner.

Under the guidance of President & Founder Robert Redford and in close collaboration with Executive Director Keri Putnam, the 23-person Board is responsible for the governance of Sundance Institute and works to actively advance creative and financial support for artists developing original stories for the screen and stage. Wally Weisman continues as Chairman of the Board.

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