For a Creative, Open Internet

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Mt. Timpanogos seen from the Sundance Resort in Utah. © 2017 Sundance Institute | Jonathan Hickerson

At Sundance Institute, we are proud to have fostered a diverse community of creative storytellers for over three decades. We support and amplify independent creators who break new ground in film and other forms of media. Independent media creators make work that moves, informs, challenges, and inspires. Their stories and perspectives enrich and shape our culture.

As the new, global digital media and communications infrastructure takes shape, connectivity and access has opened the road for all creators to share their work with people around the world. But the access and the promise of an open internet is threatened within the United States with the FCC’s move to overturn net neutrality.

Independent creators have thrived in a world of more open distribution and competition for content, through both emerging streaming companies and access to entirely independent distribution. Further, thanks in large part to net neutrality making room for competition, investment in independent film, television, and related content has reached new heights. Without enforced net neutrality rules, we face the risk of having fewer gatekeepers decide success and failure on the internet. We are concerned not just about independent creators earning a living, but the limiting of the free exchange of ideas and stories from diverse and independent perspectives that benefit our culture as a whole.

An open internet allows us to connect and share across borders and cultures, to seek collaboration and inspiration, and is integral to modern creativity and our collective evolution.

I urge everyone who values the free and open exchange of ideas and stories online to participate in the conversation around this issue: Read what others are saying to the FCC, and file your own comment on Proceeding 17-108 by August 16th -- the more specific and detailed, the better -- to make your voice and views heard.

Lead photo:

Mt. Timpanogos seen from the Sundance Resort in Utah. © 2017 Sundance Institute | Jonathan Hickerson