About Us

Our Story

“Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.” -- Robert Redford, President and Founder

As a champion and curator of independent stories for the stage and screen, Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, film composing, and digital media to create and thrive.

Robert Redford founded the Institute in 1981 to foster independence, risk-taking, and new voices in American film. That year, ten emerging filmmakers were invited to Sundance Resort in the mountains of Utah, where they worked with leading writers, directors, and actors to develop their original independent projects.

Today, our staff of 170 employees works from offices in Park City, Los Angeles, and New York City to provide 24 residential labs, grants exceeding $2.5 million, and ongoing mentorships that support more than 350 artists each year. Each January, our Sundance Film Festival introduces a global audience to groundbreaking work and emerging talent in independent film. More than 50 other public programs connect artists with audiences to present original voices, inspire new ideas, and create community around independent storytelling.

Read the 2015 Sundance Institute Annual Report »

Our Mission

Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Through its programs, the Institute seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work.

Our Vision

We believe that a story driven by an individual, authentic voice can awaken new ideas that have the power to delight and entertain, push creative boundaries, spark new levels of empathy and understanding, and even lead to social change. We support independent storytellers and advance the impact of their work in the world.

Board of Trustees

Robert Redford, President and Founder

Robert Redford is somewhat of an anomaly in the entertainment industry. Though he has been world-famous for some 30 years, he remains a highly private individual. He is an ardent conservationist and environmentalist, a man who stands for social responsibility and political involvement and an artist and businessman who is a staunch supporter of uncompromised creative expression. His passion remains to make films of substance and social/cultural relevance, as well as to encourage others to express themselves through the arts.

He is recognized the world over for the roles he has played and the projects he has directed or produced throughout a distinguished stage and film career. Believing that it is the unexpected and uncommon, which ultimately enlivens the cultural ecology of a society, Redford has nurtured more than a generation of innovative voices in independent film through his non-profit Sundance Institute and Film Festival. Harvard Business Review observed, “Sundance has become to Hollywood what Silicon Valley has been to the high-tech industry.” His life-long passion for nature and issues of justice has resulted in Redford being widely acknowledged as a highly effective and dedicated political and environmental activist.

Pat Mitchell, Board Chair

Pat Mitchell is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and curator. Her career has focused on using media as a force for social change, with a special emphasis on the representation of women’s voices and stories.

The first woman president and CEO of PBS, she most recently served as president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media; she is now a senior adviser to the organization. Mitchell is also the former president of CNN Productions, where she executive produced hundreds of hours of documentaries and specials, which received 35 Emmy Awards and five Peabody Awards.

She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2009, named one of the Most Powerful Women in Hollywood by Hollywood Reporter and featured in Fast Company’s special report, The League of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing the World.

Mitchell currently advises foundations and corporations on issues of women’s empowerment and leadership development as well as media and governance. She is the chair of the Women’s Media Center and Sundance Institute boards, a founding board member of V-Day, a member of the board of the Acumen Fund, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mitchell partners with the TED organization to co-curate and host a global TEDWomen conference.

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia with bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature, Mitchell has taught at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University, and at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Vice Chair

Jeanne Donovan Fisher is a producer, investor, and philanthropist living in New York City. Fisher is president of True Love Productions, a theater and film production company in New York that she formed in 2001. Prior to the producing venture, Fisher’s professional background was in strategic communications. From 1992 until 1998, she was a managing director and founding partner of Citigate SVC, a public relations consulting firm in New York. Before joining SVC, she was vice president and director of corporate communications at Morgan Stanley. She served as the company’s primary spokesperson, oversaw its communications on a worldwide basis, and was responsible for Morgan Stanley's public relations, media relations, advertising, and editorial services functions.

Fisher is an active philanthropist who serves on the boards of Sundance Institute, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Environmental Defense Fund, the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard (chair), and the American Fund for the Tate Modern. She also supports numerous other nonprofit institutions, particularly in the areas of arts and education.

Fisher was born in Boston and grew up in Hudson, Ohio. Her interests include theater, film, 20th century art and design, fiction, golf, and champagne. She is the wife of the late Richard B. Fisher, former chairman and chief executive of Morgan Stanley.

Geoffrey K. Sands, Vice Chair

Geoffrey Sands is a Director of McKinsey & Company and heads its Global Media, Entertainment and Information Practice in North America. He also co-leads McKinsey's Digital Marketing Practice. He has over 25 years of experience working with many of the leading marketing, media and entertainment companies. His clients span a wide range of businesses that include: newspaper, magazine and book publishing; broadcast and cable television; internet service providers; recorded music; filmed entertainment; professional publishing; business information services; education; marketing services; video games; consumer electronics; and sports.

Geoff serves on the Board of Directors of the Sundance Institute, Thirteen/WNET and the Paley Center for Media. He is also Chairman of the Board of The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Since 2004, he has been the Industry Advisor to the World Economic Forum's Media & Entertainment Governors' Meetings, and also serves as a member of the Forum's Council on the Future of Journalism.

Geoff received his BA and MBA from Yale University. He resides in Rye, NY with his wife and four children.

Sean Bailey

Sean Bailey is President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production and oversees all aspects of live-action development, film production and physical production for Walt Disney Pictures. Upcoming titles include Tim Burton's Frankenweenie; Oz The Great and Powerful, directed by Sam Raimi and starring James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams; and The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp, directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Prior to joining The Walt Disney Studios in 2010, Bailey produced Disney's TRON: Legacy, directed by Joseph Kosinski, starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, developing it in tandem with other media ranging from the Grammy-nominated, RIAA Gold-certified soundtrack by Daft Punk to a multi-platform video game and an upcoming Disney XD television series.

In 2008, he founded Idealogy, Inc., with a focus on the evolution and future of creative content, developing high-quality stories that can live across media. Bailey worked as a writer-producer under an exclusive deal with ABC Studios from 2004 to 2008, during which time he continued in his capacity as chairman and board member of LivePlanet, the production company he co-founded in 2000 with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore. While at LivePlanet, he executive-produced the innovative LivePlanet/HBO/Miramax series Project Greenlight, nominated for three Emmy Awards, and co-created the LivePlanet/ABC series Push, Nevada with Affleck.

A 20-year industry veteran, Bailey has created, packaged and developed film, television and new media concepts for Walt Disney Pictures, Miramax, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks, New Line Cinema, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., all major television networks, MSN and Yahoo. His feature film producing credits include Miramax's Gone, Baby, Gone, directed by Ben Affleck and starring Casey Affleck, Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman and Amy Ryan; Matchstick Men, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Nicolas Cage; The Core; and Best Laid Plans. His screenplay Solace, co-written by Ted Griffin, is in preproduction at New Line Cinema. Bailey's first job as a producer in the entertainment industry was developing the game show Debt for Buena Vista Television, which aired on Lifetime from 1996-1998.

Kenneth Cole

As a renowned American designer and humanitarian, Kenneth Cole believes that “it is great to be known for your shoes but even better to be recognized for your soul”.

A business that began 20+ years ago out of the back of a 40 foot trailer, Kenneth Cole Productions has risen to the top of American fashion. With worldwide distribution of his lifestyle brand, Kenneth Cole has been able to unite his fashion instincts and business acumen with his philanthropic convictions. As chairman to the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and a founding board member to the homeless organization HELP USA, Kenneth Cole has made it his business to fuse fashion with social action. Kenneth is also a board member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

He resides in Westchester, New York, with his wife Maria Cuomo Cole and their three daughters.

Ryan Coogler (Artist Trustee)

Ryan Coogler began his film career at USC and garnered attention for his feature film Fruitvale Station and his three short films Locks, Gap and Fig which have played numerous film festivals and won numerous awards over the past few years. Ryan was a participant in the 2013 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab where he developed his first feature, Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer. The film won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and also won the Un Certain Regard category at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival as well as the 2013 Vanguard Award presented by Sundance Institute and Tiffany & Co. Ryan’s next feature project was Creed, a revival of the Rocky franchise, which premiered in 2015. Ryan is not only an accomplished filmmaker but also a passionate activist. Most recently, he organized a #JUSTICEFORFLINT benefit event in Flint, Michigan to raise money and awareness for the Flint water crisis. In April of 2016, he was named as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. Ryan’s next feature project will be writing and directing Black Panther for Marvel.

Fred Dust

Fred Dust works with leaders and change agents to unlock the creative potential of business, government, educational and philanthropic organizations. A partner at IDEO, the acclaimed international design firm, and a senior leader of IDEO’s New York office, he is a leading voice and practitioner of human-centered design and networked innovation. He advises a range of new and old media companies on confronting massive shifts in the competitive landscape. He collaborates closely with nonprofit and philanthropic foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to create new frameworks for engaging with stakeholders to improve the impact of their programs. Fred holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Reed College and a master’s in architecture from the School of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. He spent eight years working in the art world with major organizations and independent artists

Ava DuVernay

Ava is a filmmaker, marketer and film distributor. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, she became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director prize for her second feature film, Middle of Nowhere (US Dramatic Competition).

Previously, she formed the DuVernay Agency, now known as DVA Media + Marketing in 1999. The award-winning marketing and publicity firm has provided strategy and execution for more than 100 film and TV projects by directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith.

Ava participated as a mentee in the inaugural year of Sundance’s Women Filmmakers Initiative mentorship program, and was a mentor at FFP’s 2013 Screenwriters Intensive. Ava is based in Los Angeles.

Philipp Engelhorn

Philipp Engelhorn founded and currently directs the film foundation and not-for-profit production company, Cinereach, which offers adaptive financial and creative support for independent filmmakers, with supported projects including Citizen Four, Cutie and the Boxer, Pariah and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Philipp additionally serves as CEO of Cinereach Films, a private film financing and investment firm. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Synergos, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating global poverty and social injustice by changing the systems that keep people in poverty. He also serves on the Founders Board of the Patrons of the Pinakothek in Munich, as well as on the boards of the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and Artists Public Domain. Originally from Germany, Philipp graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is currently based in New York City.

Rob Epstein

Rob is a film director, producer, writer and editor. He has won two Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature for the films The Times of Harvey Milk, which premiered at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival, and Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt. He recently transitioned from non-fiction documentaries into scripted narratives, producing the biopics HOWL (2010) and Lovelace (2013), both of which premiered at Sundance Film Festival.

Rob was a FFP Lab fellow with the film Howl and participated as an Advisor at the 2012 Composers + Documentary Lab. He has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Outfest Achievement Award. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences where he currently serves on the Board of Governors. He is based in San Francisco, where he is a professor of film at California College of the Arts

Caterina Fake

Caterina Fake is an American entrepreneur and social media innovator. Ms. Fake was cofounder of Flickr, the seminal social photo sharing site; and Hunch, which created the 'taste graph of the internet’. They were acquired by Yahoo and eBay respectively. She is founder and CEO of Findery, a mobile app about places for social and local sharing. For eight years she served as Director and Chairman of the Board of Etsy, the marketplace of unique goods. She was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people, and received the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership. Ms. Fake is a Founder Partner at Founder Collective, advises startups and new businesses, and has served on the Boards of Directors of many non-profits and startups, including Creative Commons and Creative Live, as well as on the Advisory Board of the UC Berkeley School of Information. She attended Smith College, and graduated from Vassar College in 1991. She is the cofounder of Sesat School, and serves on the advisory board of Rarecancer.org. Ms. Fake has received Honorary Doctorates from the Rhode Island School of Design (2009) and The New School (2013).

Robert J. Frankenberg

Bob Frankenberg is the owner of NetVentures, a management consulting firm focused on the high tech industry. Prior to its sale in 2004, Frankenberg chaired Kinzan, a leading provider of Internet services platforms. From April 1994 to August 1996, Frankenberg was the chairman/CEO of Novell, the world’s largest networking software company. Prior to Novell, Frankenberg was the corporate vice president and group general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s Personal Information Products Group, responsible for HP’s personal computer, server, networking, office software, calculator, and consumer product lines.

Frankenberg serves as a member of the board of directors of public companies National Semiconductor and Nuance Communications, as well as startup companies Veracity Networks, Digital Bridge, and Sylvan Source. He has served on the Utah Advisory board of the Sundance Institute since 1994 before becoming a Sundance Institute Trustee. He is chairman of the Westminster College Board of Trustees. He is a former member of the San Jose State University Advisory, Stanford Business School Alumni, America Online (AOL), Daw Technologies, Electroglas, Encanto Networks, Extended Systems, Kinzan, PowerQuest, Starlight Networks, Wall Data, and Placer Rehabilitation Industries boards.

Frankenberg is a 1974 Phi Kappa Phi/Tau Beta Pi, summa cum laude computer engineering graduate of San Jose State University. He is a SEP graduate of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He was recently inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 1969. He and Linda, his wife of 40 years, live in Alpine, Utah.

Cindy Harrell Horn

Cindy Harrell Horn is an advocate for education, public health, and the environment. She has worked with the UCLA School of Public Health in California and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico in their new effort to combat emerging infectious diseases. She has also helped secure bipartisan funding and support for the UCLA/LANL High Speed, High Volume Laboratory Network.

Horn is a cofounder and member of the Board of the Environmental Media Association (EMA), a nonprofit organization created to inspire and coordinate an entertainment industry response to global environmental crises. Horn was a founding trustee of Heal the Bay and The Archer School for Girls. She has also served as a board member for The Coalition for Clean Air, Tree People, The Natural Step, the Center for Environmental Education, the UCLA School of Public Health, and is a member of the Painting Conservatory Council for the J. Paul Getty Museum. In 1991 she was appointed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, William Reilly, to serve on the National Education Advisory Council and was awarded the State of California Legislative Woman of the Year. Horn has been honored by American Oceans Campaign, Heal the Bay, The Archer School for Girls, EMA, and the UCLA School of Public Health. Horn and her husband Alan reside in Los Angeles.

Lisa Kron (Artist Trustee)

Lisa Kron is a writer and performer whose work has been widely produced in New York, regionally, and internationally. She wrote the book and lyrics for musical Fun Home, with music by composer Jeanine Tesori, which won five 2015 Tony awards including Best Musical and was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Lisa’s other plays include In The Wake, Well, and the Obie Award winning 2.5 Minute Ride. As an actor she received a Tony award nomination for her performance in Well and a Lortel Award for her turn as Mrs. Mi-Tzu and Mrs. Yang in the Foundry Theater’s acclaimed production of Good Person of Szechuan. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, Sundance and MacDowell fellowships, a Doris Duke Performing Artists Award, a Cal Arts/Alpert Award, a Helen Merrill Award, and grants from the Creative Capital and NYFA. Lisa is also founding member of the OBIE- and Bessie-Award-winning collaborative theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers. She serves on the board of the MacDowell Colony and the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Lyn Davis Lear

Lyn Davis Lear is a cofounder and member of the Board of the Environmental Media Association (EMA), a nonprofit organization created to inspire and coordinate an entertainment industry response to the global environmental crisis. Formed in 1989, EMA educates and motivates members of the creative community to incorporate environmental themes and issues in television programming and films. In 2004, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Children's Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC).

In 2005, Lyn received the EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award presented by the honorable Al Gore in recognition of her dedication to the environment. In 2008, Mrs. Lear received the Global Green 2008 Millennium Award for Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for Sundance Institute.

Mrs. Lear holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is married to television writer and producer Norman Lear. She resides in Los Angeles, California, and is the mother of three children.

Gigi Pritzker

Gigi Pritzker is an accomplished film and stage producer, businesswoman, and an active philanthropist. She founded diversified content company Madison Wells Media (MWM) in Fall 2015, in partnership with Clint Kisker. MWM aims to deliver elevated entertainment experiences to consumers worldwide across all media and devices. The company produces and distributes premium content including film, television, VR/AR content, live events and digital video through its subsidiary businesses OddLot Entertainment (OLE), Reality One, Relevant Entertainment and holdings in STX Entertainment, WEVR, Fandor and Atom Tickets. Through her role overseeing the film and television production company OLE, Pritzker has produced Academy Award-nominated drama Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman; The Way, Way Back starring Steve Carell; Drive starring Ryan Gosling; the futuristic sci-fi film, Ender’s Game; Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater; and HELL OR HIGH WATER starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and BenFoster. Pritzker also develops and produces live stage productions through Relevant Entertainment, which includes the Tony Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet.” Pritzker is a committed philanthropist and holds a position on the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees, is the Founder & Vice Chair of Project&, a member of the Board of the Goodman Theatre of Chicago and serves on the Advisory Board of the Harold Ramis Film School. She sits on the Board of STX Entertainment and is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Alejandro Ramírez Magaña

Alejandro Ramírez Magaña is Chief Executive Officer of Cinépolis, the largest film exhibition company in Latin America, with presence in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Central America, India and the United States. He served as Mexico's Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and as Technical Secretary of the Social Cabinet of the Government of Mexico. He has worked for the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme in the areas of poverty and human development. He co-authored “Poverty, Human Development and Indigenous People in Latin America”, is Chairman of the Morelia International Film Festival and co-founded “Ambulante”, a documentary film festival in Mexico. He holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University, an MSc in Development Economics from the University of Oxford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Amy Redford

Amy is President and Co-Founder of Boxspring Entertainment “redefining normal” through film, TV and Branded content. She brings a unique perspective to the creative process after decades of experience on both sides of the camera. She just finished directing and producing videos for Sony Music’s upcoming release of Jeff Buckley’s album You and I. Also the video“I am a wolf you are the Moon” with Craig Wedren for Wet Hot American Summer. She is currently in early stages of production on Angela Robinson’s Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (Sony worldwide). Her directorial debut was The Guitar, starring Saffron Burrows, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival, and then hit the International Festival Circuit. Amy also directed Law & Order: SVU, and shot a short film called DeLiVeRy Ethan Suplee and Lukas Haas. She co-created a branded short for Bloomingdales called Tea for Three. She also produced the show Aperture for HGTV. Her upcoming projects include the features: The House that Jack Built, which she will be directing, Claude and the Birthday Cake, which she’s co-writing with Jude Falaise about growing up in Haiti in 1963, and Cowboys and Indians about the collision of cultured from the American west and Indian Americans. Amy is co-creating two series called Royal Hotel with Deirdre Lewis, and Bedlam with David Connolly and Hannah Davis. As an actress, over the last two decades, Amy appeared in both national and international films, TV and theatre. Amy did her postgraduate work at LAMDA, studied at ACT, The Actors Center, Circle Rep, and earned her BA from SFSU and University of Colorado, Boulder. Amy is on the board of the Sundance Institute and on the Steering Committee of the Opportunity Agenda. Amy and her siblings are heavily involved in the Sundance Resort in Utah. Amy currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three daughters.

Tom Rothman

Tom Rothman is one of the most experienced executives in the modern media business. He was recently named Chairman of a new joint venture with Sony Pictures to make movies and television under the TriStar banner. He began as a pioneer in American independent film in the 1980s, and founded Fox Searchlight in 1994. During a subsequent 18-year run at 20th Century Fox, including 12 years as Chairman and CEO, the company consistently produced the highest profit margins of any major studio. Operating profits for 2012, his last year at Fox, were tops in the sector. Milestones during his tenure include the two biggest films in cinematic history, over $40 billion in worldwide box office, more than 150 Academy Award nominations, three Best Picture Oscars, and multiple Emmys.

Nadine Schiff-Rosen

Nadine began her career as a television journalist, becoming a national reporter for the Dan Rather CBS Evening News. Prior to that, she hosted her own Toronto talk show, Take 30, and reported for The Journal, the flgship news-magazine show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In the early nineties, Ms. Schiff was hired as VP of Michael Douglas' Sony-based Stonebridge Entertainment and produced films such as Made in America, Flatliners, The Wedding Dress and Live From Baghdad. For seven years, Ms. Schiff served on the Board of the Women's Conference headed by Maria Shriver and currently serves on the Board of The HELP Group. Nadine Schiff has a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She is married to Fred Rosen, former Chairman of Ticketmaster Inc. and has one son

Jim Swartz

Jim Swartz is a Partner and Founder of Accel Partners, a prominent global technology venture capital firm with offices in Palo Alto, CA, London, England, Bangalore, India and Beijing and Shanghai, China. Entering a fifth decade in venture capital and as a Director for over fifty successful companies, he has been closely involved as lead investor with the emergence of numerous industry pioneering technology companies. A long time industry leader, Jim is former Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association and a 2007 recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a graduate of Harvard University with a concentration in Engineering Sciences and Applied Physics (he mostly remembers something about playing football) and holds a M.S. in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, where he sponsors the Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program and the James R. Swartz Leadership Scholarship.

He is Chairman of the Swartz Foundation and the Christian Center of Park City, Director Emeritus of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation (where he established the Borgen-Swartz Education Endowment), Trustee of the Sundance Institute and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and a member of the Board of Advisors of Tepper School of Business. Jim led the establishment of the Deer Valley Music Festival as a Founder and the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard as Chairman of the Capital Campaign. From 1999 to 2002, he served on the Management Committee of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympics of 2002. He is the recipient of a Merit Award from Carnegie Mellon University, the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from its Tepper School of Business, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Western Governors University.

Jim is also an accomplished Grand Prix sailboat skipper. With the yacht Moneypenny, he won the 2006 Swan World Cup, the 2006 US IRC National Championship and the 2005 and 2007 Swan North American Championships. With the TP52 yacht Vesper he won the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Rolex Big Boat Series, the 2011 Queen’s Cup and Astor Cup of the New York Yacht Club, and the 2011 IRC East Coast, 2012 US IRC National, and 2013 West Coast Championships. In 2013, Vesper set all-time course records for the Round the Island races of the New York Yacht Club and the Edgartown Yacht Club.

Together with his wife Susan, Jim founded Impact Partners, a financing and advisory firm advancing independent cinema that addresses pressing social needs including Academy Award Winners Born Into Brothels (2005) and The Cove (2010) and numerous Academy Award Nominees and Sundance Award Winners.

Liesl Tommy

Liesl Tommy is an award-winning international director. Her world premieres includeParty Peopleby Universes (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The White Man – A Complex Declaration of Loveby Joan Rang (DanskDansk Theatre, Denmark), Peggy Picket Sees the Face of Godby Roland Schimmelpfennig (Luminato Festival/Canadian Stage Toronto), Eclipsedby Danai Gurira (Yale Repertory Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), The Good Negroby Tracey Scott Wilson (The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center), A History of Lightby Eisa Davis (Contemporary American Theatre Festival), Angela’s Mixtapeby Eisa Davis (Synchronicity Performance Group, New Georges),Bus and Family Ties(Play Company for the Romania Kiss Me! Festival).

Her other credits include California Shakespeare Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Baltimore Centerstage, Sundance East Africa, Manda Island, Kenya, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, and Huntington Theatre Company, among others. Liesl is Associate Director at Berkeley Rep, serves as a Program Associate at Sundance Institute Theatre Program focusing on its activities in East Africa and was recently made an Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees. She was awarded the inaugural Susan Stroman Directing Award from the Vineyard Theatre, the NEA/TCG Directors Grant, and the New York Theatre Workshop Casting/Directing Fellowship. She is a native of Cape Town, South Africa.

John E. Warnock

John E. Warnock is cochairman of the Board of Directors of Adobe Systems, Inc., a company he cofounded in 1982 with Charles Geschke. Dr. Warnock was President of Adobe for his first two years and chairman and CEO for his remaining 16 years at Adobe. Warnock has pioneered the development of graphics, publishing, Web, and electronic document technologies that have revolutionized the field of publishing and visual communication.

Warnock’s entrepreneurial success has been chronicled by leading business and computer industry publications, and he has received numerous awards for technical and managerial achievement. A partial list of awards includes: University of Utah Distinguished Alumnus Award (1995); Software Systems Award (1989, Association for Computing Machinery); Edwin H. Land Medal (2000, Optical Society of America); Bodley Medal (2003, Bodleian Library at Oxford University); Lovelace Medal (2004, British Computer Society); Medal of Achievement (2006, AeA); Computer Entrepreneur Award (2008, IEEE Computer Society); United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2009).Warnock is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Utah, the American Film Institute, and Nottingham University.

Warnock is a member of the board of directors of Adobe Systems Inc., Ebrary Inc., Mongonet Inc., and Salon Media Group. He is past chairman of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Film Institute and Sundance Institute.

Before cofounding Adobe Systems, Warnock was principal scientist at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Prior to joining Xerox, Warnock held positions at Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM, and the University of Utah.

Dr. Warnock holds eight patents, B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, all from the University of Utah.

Jacki Zehner

Jacki Zehner dedicates her time and resources towards the advancement of women and girls. As the President of The Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation, a role she has held for the past fifteen years, Jacki funds a variety of projects and organizations with a particular focus on women's rights, women's foundations, movement building and media. In 2012 Jacki became the Chief Engagement Officer and President of Women Moving Millions (WMM), a non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing unprecedented resources for women and girls. With more than 200 women each contributing a million dollars or more to organizations of their choice, WMM has successfully centered the needs of women and girls in philanthropic giving. Jacki serves on a number of boards and advisory boards including The Sundance Institute (Board Member and Development Chair), The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, The Shriver Report, The 2020 Women on Boards Board of Leaders, Catalytic Women, Chicken & Egg Pictures "Eggspert", Tostan, Impact Partners, The Global Fund for Women, The Women's Philanthropy Institute Council and Gamechanger, a feature film fund for female directors. She is an active writer, speaker, consultant and featured expert on topics relating to women and wealth, philanthropy and leadership. Prior to her philantrhopic focus she was a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs in New York City. She know lives full-time in Park City, Utah.

Walter L. Weisman, Chair Emeritus

Walter L. (Wally) Weisman is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sundance Institute. He began his career as a lawyer and is a graduate of Stanford University and the Stanford University Law School. He entered the health care field in 1969 and in 1972 joined American Medical International Inc., a hospital management company that owned and operated acute care hospitals across the United States and in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Australia. Weisman became the company’s chairman and later its chief executive officer in 1985.

Weisman is also a past chairman and now a life trustee of the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is a senior trustee of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology and a member of the Institute’s oversight committee for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is a director of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Los Angeles), and Fresenius Medical Care (Frankfurt, Germany). Mr. Weisman lives in Los Angeles with his wife Sheila. They have three children and five grandchildren.


Glenn Close
Sally Field
Steven Haft
Jake Eberts
Mellody Hobson
George White

Utah Advisory Board

Susan Fredston-Hermann - Utah Advisory Board (Uab) Chair

A native of New York, Susan attended Cornell University as an undergraduate, and Oxford University (St. Antony's College) as a doctoral student. Her academic background is in Latin American politics and history, and she has taught in the USA, Mexico, Ivory Coast, and Brazil.

Susan helped found a business with her husband Eric, who is an expert on Africa, managing investments in the emerging markets. Susan was involved primarily in strategic investment decisions, notably regarding Latin America. Susan and her husband also helped found a biotech startup that is conducting final clinical trials for a drug to treat autism.

Susan’s lifelong passion for education led her to take a rather unconventional path when they decided to homeschool most of their five children. Susan managed their homeschooling experiment, and became an expert on alternative education, providing consulting services to the Sarah Lawrence Early Childhood Center, and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth.

Susan has always been an advocate for education and for the arts. She served on the board of the Alvin Ailey School of Dance (NYC), and the National Ability Center (Park City). She is involved in Park City community affairs, and was a member of the Park City Leadership Class of 2010. She joined the Sundance Institute's Utah Advisory Board in 2008, and has served on the community, government, and development committees. She has also co-chaired the Artists at the Table opening night Sundance Film Festival fundraiser. She is passionate about the stories Sundance tells, and is particularly interested in issues involving women and girls, education, human rights, and social justice.

Having spent time in Utah for decades, Susan moved her base West in 2008. She can often be found on the Park City trail system with her two Bernese mountain dogs. Susan skis, snowshoes, hikes, mountain bikes, and is devoted to her children and grandchildren.

Susan Bramble

Susan Bramble was born and raised in Provo, Utah. Her father was a teacher at Provo High School where he also coached football, basketball and was the head baseball coach. Her mother taught at Oakridge which was a school for physically and mentally challenged children. She attended schools in the Provo School District graduating from Provo High School. After graduation she attended Brigham Young University where she met my husband, Curt Bramble. She has six children, six grandchildren and one more on the way in January. All of her children have chosen Utah for their homes and so they enjoy regular family “get-togethers” for no reason.

Her family believes that a family that plays together stays together. They love running, biking, hiking, swimming, skiing (water and snow), etc. They spend many weeks at Lake Powell each summer and participate in many of the races (marathons,etc.) along the Wasatch front each year. They have a vigorous travel schedule due to her husband and his employment.

Being very involved in the community has been a focus for her family. They believe that a community is stronger and more vibrant if you take an active role where you live. Following this principle, Susan has held the following roles within her community:

  • PTA President and board member in every school my children have attended.
  • City PTA Board Member
  • Substitute Teacher for Edgemont Elementary School
  • Organized fund raisers for many soccer, basketball and extra-curricular events
  • Chair of the Provo Cable Board
  • Secretary, Utah County Republican Party
  • Legislative 48 Vice-Chair, Utah County Republican Party
  • Miss Provo Scholarship Pageant Board Member
  • Many leadership positions in her church
Andy Cier

Andy Cier is Managing Partner of Cier Consulting Group, which exists to help organizations to develop their brands by “unleashing the power of the human story.” Prior to consulting, Andy served as Vice President, Client Strategy & Solutions for Helix Education, a marketing and software firm that works with colleges and universities across the country.

Andy's previous career experience includes his positions as a marketing consultant, marketing director, and former Partner and General Manager of Riester, an advertising and marketing firm with offices in Salt Lake, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Prior to Riester, Andy had his own production company that specialized in TV commercials and longer-format marketing films. His advertising career began with writer/producer/director positions in agencies in Baltimore, and with J Walter Thompson in Denver.

Andy is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned his BA in Communication and Theatre, with an emphasis in Film and Video Production.

Having attended the US Film and Video Festival—and then the Sundance Film Festival—for three decades, Andy and his wife, Lynn, are long-time supporters of Sundance and the voices of independent film.

Katie Eldridge
Theresa Foxley

As Deputy Director in the Governor’s Office Of Economic Development (GOED), Ms. Foxley helps develop the strategic direction of the office, oversees corporate recruitment and incentives, Utah’s International Trade and Diplomacy, the State Trade and Export Promotions program, and various other programs designed to help expand Utah’s economy.

Prior to her recent appointment at GOED, Ms. Foxley was a business and finance attorney with the Salt Lake office of Ballard Spahr, a law firm with 14 offices nationwide, where she represented a diverse set of clients on corporate and financial matters including mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Foxley has also served as corporate counsel to a venture-funded company during its acquisition by and integration with a larger publicly traded company.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Foxley worked as a team member in the corporate recruitment office of GOED where she managed corporate incentives and worked closely with many of the office’s public and private partners.

Ms. Foxley received her undergraduate degree from Utah State University and Juris Doctorate from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. Ms. Foxley lives in Salt Lake City with her husband. They enjoy spending time outdoors together with their Bernese mountain dog.

Nancy Garrison

Nancy earned a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and an M.Ed in Adult Education from Westminster College. Following a corporate career in human resource management and many years of community service, she teaches in the graduate school of education at Westminster College. Her research interests are in equity education and under-resourced student groups. She serves as an instructional designer for a start-up business providing powerful tools for employee engagement.

Nancy also serves or has served numerous community organizations with board service and leadership – USAF 388th Fighter Wing, Sundance Institute Utah Advisory Board, Park City Board of Education, Episcopal Church, Park City Institute and Habitat for Humanity.

Nancy is an avid blue water sailor, fly-fisher and cook. She and her husband Dave enjoy these activities along with spending time with their 2 adult children.

Shari Levitin

Shari is a keynote speaker, author and entrepreneur.

In 1997, Shari founded The Levitin Group, an international training and consulting firm specializing in leadership, sales process design, presentation skills, and customized workshops. Named one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies, Levitin Group has been responsible for over a billion dollars in increased profit for companies and salespeople worldwide. The company trains both live and virtually in seven languages in 40 countries on five continents. The Levitin Group and its partner’s partial client list includes Hilton, Apple, Jaguar, Hyatt, TED speakers, State Farm, Prudential Real Estate, and Sprint Communications.

Shari is an adjunct professor at The University of Utah David Eccles School of Business and is serving on the Sundance Utah Advisory Board for her third term. Shari also founded and continues to host Shabbat at Sundance whose mission is to bring two like-minded communities together during the Festival for the purpose of Tikun Olam, or to make the world a better place. She lives with her husband, Lee Gerstein, and their son, Tyler, in Park City, Utah and Woodside, California.

Claudia McMullin

Reformed NYC attorney, current Summit County Councilor and entrepreneur who owns Hugo Coffee Roasters, Hugo Coffee Shop and Hugo Coffee Bar – all located in Park City, UT.

Virginia Pearce

With over 15 years of experience in marketing and external relations in the film industry, Virginia Pearce has been the Film Commissioner for the state of Utah since October 2014. Working closely with the Governor’s Offices of Economic Development and Tourism, Pearce has cultivated key industry relationships and is working to build the state’s reputation as a filmmaking destination.

Under Pearce’s leadership, Utah secured its first major network series to shoot in Utah since 2005 and the number of outside productions filming in Utah doubled in 2015. Pearce also hosted the Film Commission’s first ‘Industry Day’ in 2015 to help navigate the journey from school to employment in a growing industry.

Formerly the Director of Marketing & Community Programs at Spy Hop, a nonprofit youth media organization that mentors teens in digital media creation, Pearce oversaw all external relations and community programming. She joined Spy Hop in 2010 after serving as the Associate Director of Artist Relations at Sundance Institute since 1998. While there, she managed relationships with the Institute’s film, music and theatre artists, managed the Institute’s artist labs program and created the Sundance Institute Alumni program. Pearce began her career as a commercial photographer, working in Seattle, Maine, Boston and Paris.

Heidi Prokop

Heidi Prokop is Senior Vice President and Communications Manager at Zions Bank, responsible for media relations, internal and external communications and financial education outreach. Prior to joining Zions Bank in 2001, she worked for the University of Utah as a News and Communication Specialist. From 1994-2000, she worked for the PBS affiliate KUED, starting as an intern before becoming Public Information Coordinator and Webmaster.

Prokop currently serves on the board of directors of the Utah Arts Council, the Utah Film Center and 90.9 FM KRCL. She previously was a member of the Planned Parenthood Action Council, the University of Utah Young Alumni board and the Utah Bankers Association Consumer Education Committee.

Prokop graduated with an Honors B.A. in English from the University of Utah, where she also earned an M.A. in British and American literature. She holds a professional certificate from the Graduate School of Retail Bank Management.

She was listed among Utah Business magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2015, was recognized as a Utah’s Finest Honoree by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2011 and honored with the YWCA Young Leaders Award in 2008. She has been listed among Zions Bank’s “Top Women’s Banking Team” in American Banker magazine.

She has written scripts for documentaries broadcast on KUED: The Alta Experience, The Spirit of Fort Douglas, and the award-winning Preparing for Disaster and The Jackson Hole Story. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and two children.

Coleen Reardon

Coleen Reardon has been employed at Deer Valley Resort for the last twenty-three years. With the acquisition of Solitude Mountain Resort in May of 2015, Coleen was promoted to Brand Director for Deer Valley Resorts. Prior to her current position, she served as the Director of Marketing as well as Communications Manager for Deer Valley Resort.

As Brand Director, Ms. Reardon is responsible for overseeing all of the marketing and communications efforts for both Deer Valley and Solitude, including the public relations, international, social, tour and travel, web, digital and mobile departments. She also oversees the events department at Deer Valley and monitored the logistics and production as Deer Valley became an official Olympic venue, hosting the 2002 Olympic Winter Games alpine slalom, freestyle mogul and aerial events, the 2003 and 2011 Freestyle FIS World Championships, the U.S. Ski Team’s 1999 Nationals and 2001 Gold Cup competitions in addition to annual freestyle World Cup events. In 2019, Deer Valley will again host a Freestyle FIS World Championships, making it the first resort in North America to have been awarded the honor of hosting a World Championship event three times.

Ms. Reardon was a member of Ski Utah’s marketing committee and currently serves on the Park City Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau’s (PCCB) Marketing Council. She also serves on the Utah Advisory Board for the Sundance Film Festival and on the Board of Director’s for the Park City Hospital. In 2001, she served as President of the PCCB Board of Directors and in June 2010 finished another term serving on the PCCB’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Coleen is also a past Board Member for the former Summit Institute which was a Park City based non-profit arts and humanities organization and served on the Executive Committee of the Park City Jazz Foundation. In 2011, she was awarded Business Woman of the Year by the Park City Women’s Business Network and in 2012 received a Utah Business SAMMY award.

Before joining the Deer Valley team, Coleen worked for Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort for fifteen years where she served as the Director of Public Relations as well as the Director of Entertainment and Special Events. She is a native of California who resides in Park City, Utah.

Rhonda Sideris

Rhonda moved to Park City in 1976 from Southern California. After dabbling in various walks of life (including bull riding in the Park City rodeo, white water guiding on the Green & Colorado Rivers, and successfully running her own restaurant and catering business) Rhonda found herself in the property management world. Recognizing the need for high quality property management, Rhonda started Park City Lodging, Inc. (then R & R Properties) in 1984. Since then, Park City Lodging has grown to manage approximately 200 private homes and condos and 7 HOA associations. Rhonda oversees a team of up to 70 employees and recently was the project manager for Park City Lodging’s green-building initiative. Completed in summer of 2016, Park City Lodging’s green building is a mixed use complex complete with corporate offices, employee housing, and a green rooftop including solar panels and a rooftop garden.

Beyond the considerable impact Rhonda made in the local tourism market over the years, she has similarly been a critical component in elevating Park City in the international tourism landscape. Working diligently to foster relationships with international tour operators and clients in Latin America and Europe, Park City undoubtedly owes a portion of its international fame to this pioneer woman.

Additionally, Rhonda completed the inaugural Park City Leadership workshop in 1994/95 and was a founding member of the Women’s Giving Fund, to this day she works tirelessly to support local nonprofits. She has served on the Executive Board of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, the Executive Board of the Vacation Rental Managers’ Association and most recently the Citizen’s Open Space Acquisition Committee and the Park City Area Lodging Association. She was honored in 2016 with Summit Land Conservancy’s “Conservationist of the Year” award for her participation in the 1% for Open Space Program. Rhonda’s dedication, motivation and innate leadership ability has been the foundation of not only her success, but countless others who she has influenced throughout her career. Her determination to accomplish goals has created an inspiring and creative work environment day after day.

Jenny Wilson

Jenny Wilson is an At-Large Member of the Salt Lake County Council, representing over one million residents in Salt Lake County. Previously, she served from 2004-2010 and then returned to a six-year term in 2014. She has spearheaded ethics reform, open space preservation, the protection and expansion of human and LGBT rights and environmental initiatives.

Jenny is a Director/Producer of THE GRAND RESCUE, a documentary film based on a harrowing three-day mountain rescue on the north face of the Grand Teton in 1967. The film is distributed through the PBS network.

Earlier in Jenny’s career she served as the Director of Institutional Advancement for the John A. Moran Eye Center, a Director of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, as Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Orton, and with the Sundance Institute/Film Festival/Sundance Group.

She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Utah in 1988 and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1998.

She and her husband, Trell and two sons live in Salt Lake City, UT.

Jacki Zehner

Jacki Zehner dedicates her time and resources towards the advancement of women and girls. As the President of The Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation, a role she has held for the past 15 years, Jacki funds a wide variety of projects and organizations, with a particular focus on women's rights, women's foundations, movement building, and media. Jacki joined Women Moving Millions (WMM) as a member in 2009, and since 2012 she has served as their Chief Engagement Officer. WMM is a community of 250 members that have collectively given over $1 billion to organizations and programs that focus on females, making WMM the largest philanthropic network in the world of women funding women. Prior to her philanthropic focus, Jacki was a Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, where she was the youngest woman and first female trader to make partner.

In addition to her work with WMM, Jacki serves on a number of boards and advisory committees, including The Sundance Insitute. She is an active writer, speaker, and consultant on topics relating to women and wealth, philanthropy, and leadership. She is a featured Influencer on LinkedIn, attracting over 350,000 subscribers to date, and has been recognized for her leadership with many awards, including being recently named to the Economist’s Global Diversity List as a top 50 diversity figure in public life, and Inside Philanthropy’s Most Powerful Women in US Philanthropy.

Diane Foster - Ex-Officio

Diane is the City Manager for Park City. Prior to joining the City, Diane worked in the private sector for twenty two years, primarily in high tech. For eight of those years she managed to mix high tech with ski industry as the VP of Marketing Services for American Skiing Company. Diane holds a BA from Bates College, MBA from the University of Cambridge in the UK and an MPA at the University of Utah.

Diane served as a local Planning Commissioner for five years; as VP of the Board of Directors Park City's NPR radio station, KPCW; is a member and has served on the Board for the Park City Rotary Club and is past board President for Recycle Utah.

Diane and her husband Hutch, along with avalanche search dog Calamity Jane and cat Princess Buttercup, live in a net zero energy home in Wanship, Utah at an elevation of 8,200 feet. Diane enjoys all forms of snow sliding (tele, alpine, skate & snowboard) and trail running.

Donna Gruneich - Members Emeritus

Prior to having children, Donna Gruneich’s work focused on the financial industry. She worked for North Carolina National Bank from 1985 through 1987, trading for the Trust Division. In 1987, she relocated to New York City and worked for Oppenheimer and Company as a Convertible Bond Sales/Trader.

Donna is passionate about education and the arts. She is the past Chairman of the Board at Park City Academy and is a founding trustee of the Park City Day School Board. The bulk of her work on both boards has centered on long-term sustainability, finance and governance. She is a past board member of the Park City Institute, and she is the past Chairman of the Sundance Institute’s Utah Advisory Board.

Donna and her husband, Kevin, are members of Impact Partners which brings together philanthropists and filmmakers so that, together, they can create great films that entertain audiences, enrich lives, and ignite lasting social change. Through Impact Partners, Donna has been involved with films such as Children of Invention, No Impact Man, Secrecy, Meet The Patels and the Oscar-winning films, The Cove and Freeheld. Donna and Kevin are also part of Gamechanger Films which aims to shift the gender disparity in the film marketplace by tapping into the enormous yet undervalued talent pool of women directors and providing the financing necessary to bring their work to audiences worldwide. Independently of these groups they Co-Executive Produced the Oscar nominated documentary Cartel Land and Executive Produced The Bad Kids.

After having a second home in Park City for over eight years, the Gruneichs moved to Park City from Connecticut permanently in 2005. They have three children—Allison, Alex and Anna—the two girls attend school on the East Coast and Alex on the West Coast.

Margaret (Margo) Lasecke-Jacobs - Members Emeritus

Before becoming Park City residents in 2008, Margaret, a native Californian, and her husband Ken, called the San Francisco Bay Area their primary residence.

In California, Margaret ran worldwide public relations and global marketing for Oracle Corporation from June 1993 to June 2000. She formed a marketing and public relations consulting practice after leaving Oracle. As a consultant, Margaret worked with Silver Lake Partners (SLP), a recognized leader in US-based private equity, leveraged buyout and growth capital investments where she counseled a handful of SLP companies on their marketing strategy.

From 1987 to 1993, she was part of the senior management team at Fujitsu America, where she managed marketing, advertising and public relations. Early in her career, as one of the youngest vice presidents at the internationally respected public relations firm, Ogilvy & Mather (formerly Dudley Anderson & Yutzy), Margaret managed a range of technology and consumer products clients. Immediately after graduating from San Jose State University in 1980 with a BS in Business Administration, Margaret worked for Atari Corporation, a Time Warner subsidiary.

In California, highlights of Margaret’s non-profit communications consulting efforts included:

  • Positive Coaching Alliance (national youth sports organization, based at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA) -- Board Member
  • Stanford School of Medicine, Stem Cell Research Effort -- Formed and led Communications Advisory Board (played active role in highlighting stem cell science in 2004 U.S. Presidential Campaign)
  • Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), Silicon Valley based support organization for the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) -- participated in ‘all-star’ marketing strategy committee.

Also in Park City, Margaret served on the board of The Colony homeowners’ association for six years, holding the Office of President in 2009.

Margaret enjoys spending time with her daughter, Jamie, who lives/works in the San Francisco Bay Area and her husband Ken, who retired from Oracle, after a nearly 30 year career there. The Jacobs’ spend their free time on international travel, skiing, snow shoeing, scuba diving and cycling.

Tina Lewis - Members Emeritus

Tina Stahlke Lewis became involved with Sundance when, as the Community Affairs Director for the Park City Chamber Bureau in 1980, she was asked to assist in moving the U.S. Film and Video Festival to Park City and to serve as a member of the board. She is the longest-serving member of the Sundance Institute Utah Board of Advisors and has been co-chair and chair.

Lewis was the director of the State of Utah International Business Development Office, producing international events during the Olympic Winter Games and conducting worldwide trade missions post Olympics. She had been co-chair of Utah’s Olympic Delegation. Lewis lectured for the University of Utah’s Global Business Program and Utah State University’s International Business Seminars and was appointed to the District Export Council by the Secretary of Commerce. She received the World Trade Association’s Award for excellence in international business.

A 43-year resident of Park City, Lewis served on the City Council, Redevelopment Agency and Planning Commission. She was a founder of the Historic District Commission, Library Board, and Parks and Recreation Board and a member of the team that wrote the Historic District Guidelines, Park City Master Plan, and Parks Master Plan. Lewis was the founder of the Park City Museum, the Kimball Art Guild and Friends of the Library and she chaired the restoration of City Hall, Marsac School and Miner’s Hospital. Lewis spearheaded many iconic Park City events. She was director of the Park City Arts Festival and chair of the Centennial Commission. She coordinated conferences for the National Governors and the Western Governor’s Policy Office in Park City.

Lewis is a frequently published authority on sewing, embroidery and quilting. She was a contributing editor of Creative Needle magazine and a fashion coordinator for McCall’s Pattern Company and Seventeen Magazine. She is also a regular contributor to Park City Magazine.

Lewis has served on numerous boards including Utah Symphony, Utah Library Commission, KPCW Radio, Utah Heritage Foundation, Rowland Hall School, Utahns for Choice, Spy Hop Productions, Ft. Douglas Heritage Commons, World Trade Association, Kimball Art Center, and University of Utah Graduate School of Architecture. A National Trust for Historic Preservation board member, Lewis chaired the Trust’s National Board of Advisors. Lewis was honored with Utah Heritage Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in historic preservation. She was awarded Park City’s “Lifetime Community Leadership Award,” and named Park City’s “Citizen of the Year” and “Utah’s Renaissance Woman.”

Rory Murphy - Members Emeritus

Rory has lived in Park City for 25 years and is originally from Vermont. A former US Army paratrooper, he is a resort developer and has worked on projects such as Empire Pass at Deer Valley, Silver Star at Park City and the new 820 Park Avenue building in the Old Town District. Rory has two children and is a former City Commissioner and has served on the Judicial Selection Commission in addition to numerous other appointments. He passionately supports the mission of Sundance and is proud to be associated with the organization.

Director's Advisory Group

Sean Bailey - Trustee Representative

As President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, Sean Bailey oversees all aspects of live-action development, film production and physical production for Walt Disney Pictures. Disney’s recent releases include Pete’s Dragon, The Jungle Book, and Cinderella. Upcoming titles include Queen of Katwe, Beauty and the Beast andPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Prior to joining The Walt Disney Studios in 2010, Bailey produced Disney's TRON: Legacy, producing it in tandem with other media ranging from the Grammy-nominated, RIAA Gold-certified soundtrack by Daft Punk to a multi-platform video game and the Disney XD television series TRON: Uprising. In 2008, he founded Idealogy, Inc., with a focus on the evolution and future of creative content, developing high-quality stories that can live across media.

Bailey worked as a writer-producer under an exclusive deal with ABC Studios from 2004 to 2008, during which time he continued in his capacity as chairman and board member of LivePlanet, the company he co-founded in 2000 with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore. While at LivePlanet, he executive-produced the innovative LivePlanet/HBO/Miramax series Project Greenlight, nominated for three Emmy Awards, and co-created the LivePlanet/ABC series Push, Nevada with Affleck.

A 20-year industry veteran, Bailey has created, packaged and developed film, television and new media concepts for Walt Disney Pictures, Miramax, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks, New Line Cinema, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., all major television networks, MSN and Yahoo. His feature film producing credits include Disney's Tron: Legacy; Miramax's Gone, Baby, Gone; Matchstick Men; The Core; and Best Laid Plans. His screenplay Solace, co-written by Ted Griffin and starring Anthony Hopkins and Colin Farrell, is slated for release in 2016.

Bailey is a member of the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees, and a member of the Caltech Board of Trustees.

Jason Blum

Jason is a film producer and in 2000 created Blumhouse Productions, where he produced Paranormal Activity and other films following the model of inexpensive movies with mass audience appeal. He was formerly co-head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions at Miramax Films, Executive Vice President of Arrow Entertainment and Producing Director of the Malaparte Theater Company

Jason Hirschhorn

Jason is an entrepreneur most comfortable at the intersection between entertainment and technology. He is CEO of his first venture, Mischief New Media, and was formerly Chief Digital Officer of MTV Networks, President of Sling Media, most recently Co-President of MySpace. He serves on the Board of Directors of MGM.

Andrew Jarecki

Andrew is an American filmmaker, musician, and entrepreneur. He is best known for Capturing the Friedmans, which won eighteen international prizes including the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the New York Film Critics Circle award, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Moviefone.

Chris Kelly

Chris is an American entrepreneur, politician, and lawyer. Until March 16, 2010, he was the Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook. Kelly ran for Attorney General of California in the 2010 election.

Geoffrey Sands

Geoff is McKinsey & Co.’s Director of Media & Entertainment for North America, and co-leads the Digital Marketing Practice in North America. He is on the Board of Directors for Sundance Institute, Thirteen/WNET and the Paley Center for Media, and is Chairman of the Board of PBS.

Lauren Zalaznick

Lauren is Chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media, overseeing Bravo, Oxygen, Style, Telemundo, mun2 and the joint ventures Sprout and TV One. She also runs the digital properties DailyCandy, Fandango, iVillage, Television Without Pity and the Integrated Media Group. She is a member of NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s MediaNYC2020 Council, a Trustee of the Brown University Corporation, and sits on the Brown University Women’s Leadership Council and Creative Arts Council.

Blake Krikorian 1967-2016

Founding member of the Director's Advisory Group
As a founding member of the Director's Advisory Group, Blake gifted the Institute with his infectious energy and spirit. His impact on the evolution of our programs, and on each of us, will be long felt.


Keri Putnam - Executive Director

Keri Putnam oversees all programs of the global nonprofit Sundance Institute, including the Feature Film Program, Documentary Film Program, Sundance Film Festival, Film Music Program, Theatre Program, and Native American and Indigenous Program. She is also responsible for expanding the Institute's international work, initiating strategic partnerships, and growing the Institute's annual operating budget. In addition, Putnam leads Institute initiatives to provide independent filmmakers with access to digital distribution through the Artist Services program and to identify and lessen roadblocks for women in the independent sector via the Women Filmmakers Initiative.

Before joining Sundance Institute, Putnam served as president of production for Miramax Films, the Walt Disney Company's specialty film division. Prior to joining Miramax, Putnam was executive vice president, HBO Films, responsible for the development and production of films for both the cable network and for theatrical release.

A graduate of Harvard, Putnam studied theatre and began her career working for Williamstown Theater Festival, McCarter Theater, Arena Stage, the ART, and others. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Sarah Pearce - Managing Director

Sarah Pearce, as Managing Director for Sundance Institute, oversees the implementation of the organization's strategic plan, administration and program operations, including the annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival: London, Sundance NEXT FEST, Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong and the Institute’s 24 artist development labs. Pearce has guided the organization through a time of incredible growth with the addition of a virtual reality lab, regional day labs, international artist labs, touring shorts programs and a variety of other public programs. In addition to leading technology, operational and administrative planning, Pearce works closely with Sundance Institute’s Utah Advisory Board, community leaders, state and local officials, and government agencies at all levels to strengthen Sundance Institute’s role in the Utah community. Pearce brings more than 20 years of experience to Sundance Institute where she previously served for 13 years as Director of Operations for the Sundance Film Festival.

Pearce has served on the Motion Picture Advisory Committee for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development for the State of Utah, the Park City Chamber Board and on the Executive Committee of the IFP Festival Forum. She is currently serving on the advisory boards of Salt Lake Community College's New Media Center and the Park City Chamber's Thin Air Innovation Festival.

John Cooper - Director, Sundance Film Festival

John Cooper has been a member of the Sundance Film Festival programming staff since 1989 and assumed the role of Festival Director in April of 2009 after serving as the Sundance Film Festival's Director of Programming since 2003.

His early work in theater, ranging from performance to design, took him to New York City. By chance, he volunteered at the Institute's Summer Labs in 1989 and fell in love with the process and energy of Sundance. He returned to California to become part of the Festival programming team, which at that time consisted of two people. In the Festival's early years, Cooper created the short film program and quickly transitioned into programming documentaries and feature films.

In recent years, he took the lead in developing the Institute's online presence, which has garnered two Webby Awards. As Festival Director, he oversees creative direction of the Festival and has final decision on all films and events.

Other work includes guest curator or juror at major film festivals around the world. From 1995-1998 Cooper served as Programming Director of Outfest, a Los Angeles festival held annually in July, and until 2002 served on the Outfest Board of Directors.

Betsy Wallace - CFO and Head of Business Development

Betsy Wallace is the chief financial officer and head of business development, overseeing all aspects of finance and legal and business development for Sundance Institute. Betsy brings over 35 years of financial and leadership experience, domestic and international, to the Institute.

During Betsy’s career, she has been chief financial officer and chief accounting officer of both public and private for-profit companies, including PetSmart, DSW, REC Solar (where she was also CEO), TravelClick, and American Skiing Company. While living overseas in Singapore for close to a decade, Betsy was the CFO for Citigroup’s business development group for its greater Asia business, and prior to that she was the CFO of Hubbell International Inc. Betsy began her career with Deloitte & Touche CPAs.

Betsy graduated from the USC Marshall School of Business graduate program with an emphasis in finance and has her undergraduate degree in psychology from UCLA. Betsy has been involved on several nonprofit boards including Leadership California, PrimeTime Singapore, and Habitat for Humanity: Summit and Wasatch Counties. She and her husband live in Park City, Utah.

Peter Golub - Director, Film Music Program

Peter Golub has directed the Sundance Film Music Program since 1999. Under his leadership the Program has held two annual Labs at the Sundance Resort where composers work on their own under the mentorship of leading film composers and also in collaboration both with Fellows from the Sundance Feature Film and Documentary Programs.

Golub's own recent film scores include: Countdown to Zero (Participant Films); Frozen River (nominated for two Academy Awards); The Great Debaters (co-composed with James Newton Howard); Outrage; I.O.U.S.A.; and Wordplay, among many more.

Golub, also a pianist, received a Doctorate in Composition from the Yale School of Music. His numerous concert works have been performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan. He has also been active as a composer for the theatre. Golub serves on the Board of the American Music Center.

Philip Himberg - Artistic Director, Theatre Program

Since 1997, Philip has guided all aspects of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, including the Sundance Institute Theatre Laboratory, and satellite residency programs in Massachusetts, Wyoming and Florida. Under his aegis, the program has grown into providing year-round support for theatre artists in a variety of settings, including an exchange in East Africa with artists of that region.

Himberg’s most recent play, Paper Dolls, had its world premiere at the Tricycle Theatre in London in 2013. He is co-author and director of Carry It On, a solo play for singer and actor Maureen McGovern, which played at Two Rivers Theatre, Red Bank NJ, the Huntington Theatre in Boston, Arena Stage, Washington DC and Geva Theatre in Rochester, New York. Other directing credits include the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Some Men at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, Elegies by William Finn at the Canon Theatre, LA, and Flora The Red Menace Reprise in LA.

Himberg received his B.A. in Theatre Arts at Oberlin College. He was co-artistic director of Playwrights Horizons in New York during the theatre’s most formative years. He is a recipient of a TCG/NEA Artistic Directors Fellowship, which brought him to the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Himberg currently serves as President of the Board of Directors at Theatre Communications Group. He has taught at the Tisch School at NYU and is a visiting consultant at the Yale Drama School. Himberg is a published essayist (“Family Albums” in Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys) and licensed as a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. He lives in New York and is the father of Fanny Rose Ballantine-Himberg.

Tabitha Jackson - Director, Documentary Film Program

With over 20 years experience in the field, Tabitha Jackson is an award-winning commissioning editor and producer of documentary and non-fiction work. Jackson brings to her new role extensive experience in producing nonfiction work for multiple platforms, arts advocacy and outreach, building creative partnerships and team management.

Jackson recently served as Commissioning Editor, Arts, Channel 4 Television based in London, where she supported and championed the independent and alternative voice, and sought to find fresh and innovative ways of storytelling. Prior to this role, Jackson held the position of Editor, More 4 at Channel 4 where she ran the day-to-day operations for the UK’s sixth largest digital channel including running the two key areas of original programming True Stories and More 4 Arts.

While at Channel 4, commissions included: Mark Cousins’ magisterial 15 part series "The Story of Film", Clio Barnard’s formally innovative verbatim cinema doc "The Arbor", Bart Layton’s documentary "The Imposter", and the forthcoming Nick Cave film, "20,000 Days on Earth".

Jackson’s commissions have been recognized with numerous awards including BAFTA Awards for The Imposter and Chosen, and Academy Award nominations for Burma VJ and Which Way Home. She has also received awards for her own work including a News and Documentary Emmy for Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge and the Royal Television Society Award and UNESCO Gold Award for Motherland – A Genetic Journey.

Prior to joining Channel 4, Jackson worked as an independent producer making films in both the UK and US about identity, social justice and history.

N. Bird Runningwater - Director, Native American and Indigenous Program

Born of the Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache peoples, Runningwater was reared on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico. He has overseen the Native Lab of the Institute which has launched projects such as Four Sheets to the Wind, Sikumi, Miss Navajo, Shímásání, and Drunktown’s Finest. Runningwater has also established filmmaker Labs in New Zealand and Australia, which have spawned such projects as The Strength Of Water (New Zealand), Samson And Delilah (Australia), and Bran Nue Dae (Australia).

Before joining Sundance Institute, Runningwater served as executive director of the Fund of the Four Directions, the private philanthropy organization of a Rockefeller family member. He served as program associate in the Ford Foundation’s Media, Arts, and Culture Program, where he built and managed domestic and global funding initiatives. Runningwater currently serves as a patron to the imagineNative Indigenous Film Festival in Toronto.

Currently based in Los Angeles, he is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with degrees in Journalism and Native American Studies, and he received his Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

Michelle Satter - Director, Feature Film Program

Michelle Satter is the founding director of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, which was the inaugural program of the Institute. As the Feature Film Program director, she has provided year-round and in-depth support to groundbreaking and award-winning filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world. She also spearheaded the Institute's international work in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East as well as the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award celebrating 100 years of cinematic history.

In 1989, Satter coproduced the Academy Award-nominated documentary Waldo Salt: A Screenwriters Journey. She is currently one of the producers on the film adaptation of Isabel Allende’s international bestseller Eva Luna. Prior to Sundance Institute, Satter lived in Boston and was director of public relations/marketing at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art and a partner and program director of ArtiCulture, Inc., where she produced hundreds of performing arts events throughout the Boston area. She has served on the Boards of the Independent Feature Project, MAISHA, and Equinoxe. Most recently, Satter was recognized with the Women in Film Business Leadership Award and the ACLU Bill of Rights Award.

Michael Ballweg - Director, Human Resources

As the Director of Human Resources Michael Ballweg leads the team that identifies, recruits, develops and retains the Institutes exceptional talent. Leveraging best practices and innovative strategy, Michael guides the Institute’s efforts to be an employer of choice. He is responsible for all aspects of learning, diversity, organizational planning and compensation as well as creating an environment that fosters personal development, exceptional creativity and a high level of productivity.

As a certified Professional in Human Resources, Michael previously directed human capital and organizational effectiveness in both entertainment and non-profit organizations.

Jared Hendler - Director of Marketing & Communications

Jared Hendler oversees all external communications for Sundance Institute, including supervision of marketing, branding, digital & social media and media relations. Jared leads brand strategy and messaging, develops methods to grow constituencies and launches new collaborations to tell the story of Institute artists, programs and activities.

Jared brings extensive integrated communications experience to Sundance having worked as Founding Partner at Brand Content Agency, Global Director Digital & Creative at MWW Group, Executive Creative Director at Katalyst Media as well as prior executive jobs at Edelman, Grey Advertising and others. He holds a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and served as their East Coast Chapter Chair before relocating from New York to Los Angeles.

Jared is a former advisory board member for Social Media Week, an alumni board member of the Art Directors Club and a former Blue Ribbon Judge for the Emmy Award's broadband category. He actively participates in entertainment, digital advertising and technology industry events.

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