The Sundance Institute, for me, has been the richest source of creative inspiration for as long as I can remember. Not only have I participated in many workshop and festival events throughout the years, Sundance New Frontier served as the launchpad for my open-collaborative production company, hitRECord, in 2010. Last year, I fulfilled a dream I didn’t even know I had by joining the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees. At the time, I honestly didn't know what that meant, but basically I get to advise and collaborate with my other Board members and help shape and support the work of Sundance.
In October of 2010, while meeting at the Sundance Resort in Utah, my fellow Board Members and I sat with Mr. Redford and discussed new plans for how the Institute could create something we didn’t even have a name for yet.
As an artist who loves being engaged in an open community of other artists, and exploring how we can become more empowered to share our stories directly with audiences, I am very excited to have been part of building Sundance Institute’s new “Artist Services” program. Sundance selects some of the most exciting storytellers from around the world for its Festival, Labs and other programs — and this new program makes sure audiences will have a chance to see their work.
“Artist Services” is about every Sundance project getting new opportunities to distribute their films on places like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, SundanceNow and other networks. It’s a perfect complement to the mission of the organization and we all felt now was the time to seriously leverage our resources.
It answers some of the challenges the independent community faces most, it endures to provide great content and education around these issues, and it’s also a work in progress. So it can continue to grow and evolve.
I’m writing you from London to say simply, engage. Engage with these new ideas we’re offering, engage with the new opportunities, engage with this website … it’s all been designed for you, the Artist. I’m excited to see what we all come up with!
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has appeared in a number of films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival including Manic (2001), Brick (2005), Mysterious Skin (2004), 500 Days of Summer (2009), and Hesher (2010) and his short film Sparks played in 2009. His project hitRECord.org was featured at the 2010 Film Festival’s New Frontier performances and installations. His part media workshop, part social network, and part art exhibition, topples traditional ideas of artistic ownership, online communication, and film production.