Patron Circle Newsletter


It was wonderful seeing all of you at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival! Thanks to those of you who participated in our post-Festival survey—we always take your comments to heart and build your suggestions into our plan for next year. We are constantly striving to make the Patron Circle experience a little bit better each year, and your insight helps make that happen.

Gone are the days when we saw a lull between Festivals. Since January, we’ve already hosted a successful Leadership Giving event in New York and are looking forward to a Theatre Benefit in New York and Sundance London in April, an LA Benefit in June and NEXT WEEKEND in August! We hope you can join us at one or all of the exciting events so we can get the chance to see you more than once a year. 

I’m also proud to say that we successfully launched Sundance Institute’s first-ever Membership program last Fall, and already have nearly 500 members who are invested in supporting visionary artists in film and theatre. Help us spread the word, and consider buying a membership for your family, friends and colleagues. Members get awesome year-round benefits, discounts and premiums that have been thoughtfully put together with the culturally savvy film-lover in mind.

Thank you for your loyal support of Sundance Institute and our artists. We couldn’t do it without you! As always, feel free to be in touch with me or Hathaway Jakobsen if you need anything at all.

Jamie Powell
Senior Manager, Individual Giving
Sundance Institute


Our third annual Collector’s Circle dinner at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival was another great success. Patron Circle members at the Collector’s level and above had the opportunity to vote on the next film added to the Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA this year. Festival Director John Cooper, Senior Programmer John Nein and other programmers presented on Sundance films that are in need of preservation, including Mi Vida Loca, Safe, and River of Grass. Ultimately, the group voted to add Hoop Dreams to the Collection, with Paris is Burning a very close runner-up.

What does it actually mean for a film to be “preserved” in the Collection? Although it differs from film to film, we begin by looking at the “original material” of a given film (that might mean the camera negative or the original digital tapes or various other high quality formats). We then house that irreplaceable material in the state-of-the-art vaults at the UCLA archive. In this way, with proper care and perhaps some repair work, we ensure that pristine new prints of that film can be made for decades and even centuries to come.

Pictured above: Sundance Institute Trustee Sheila Johnson and Patron Circle members Fred Rosen and Nadine Schiff-Rosen enjoy the Collector’s Dinner at Wahso. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Hickerson.



From our private Patron Circle screenings to the Collector’s Circle dinner, and Artist at the Table to the Celebration of Music in Film, we hope you enjoyed all our event offerings at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival!

Always a fitting conclusion to the jam-packed first weekend of the Festival, the annual Patron Circle party at Jupiter Bowl did not disappoint. Patron Circle members enjoyed a lively gathering and a bit of bowling before a private screening of Twenty Feet from Stardom with director Morgan Neville. Back-up singer Merry Clayton graced us with an impromptu rendition of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin”. Later that evening, Merry joined other singers from the film, including Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega and Judith Hill in a performance at the Celebration of Music in Film at Sundance House Presented by HP.

In the photos above: Judith Hill and Merry Clayton perform at the Sundance House Presented by HP; Christopher Hibma, Producing Director of the Institute’s Theatre Program, tries his hand at bowling; Patron Circle guests at Jupiter Bowl reception.

Photos courtesy of Jonathan Hickerson and Mandie Wood Harris


On the evening of March 11, an intimate group of filmmakers, philanthropists, and Sundance senior staff gathered at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City. Hosted by Sundance Institute Board Member Sheila Johnson, the event inspired to action a core group of Sundance supporters with a panel featuring leading voices in independent film and theatre, including Moises Kaufman (The Laramie Project), Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army), Lee Daniels (Precious), and Braden King (Here).

What ensued was an insightful conversation about the artists’ experiences with the Sundance Film Festival and the Institute’s Lab programs. “You’re not weird there” agreed panelists Porter and Kaufman agreed about their Sundance Labs experiences. The Sundance Film Festival embraced Lee Daniels for who he was, both his strength and his flaws. “That’s why it’s so special to me,” said Daniels. About the artistic process, King said “We make because we don’t have a choice. Any sincere creative journey is about finding one’s place in the universe.”

To learn more about the Institute’s Leadership Giving Program, please contact Hathaway Jakobsen at 310-492-2279 or

Pictured above, from left to right: Moises Kaufman, Lee Daniels, Braden King, and Dawn Porter. Photo courtesy of Andrew H. Walker/WireImage.


Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions about the Patron Circle or ideas that may help us improve the program! Call Jamie Powell, manager of the Patron Circle, at 310-492-2327 or email her at

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