Sundance Institute Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue Travels to Harrisburg, Lancaster, Centre Country and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania April 9-13

Sundance Institute and the State Library of Pennsylvania CollaborateTo Host Film Screenings and Discussions in 22 libraries and venues across the State

Filmmaker Kim Mordaunt (The Rocket) and Producer Christine O’Malley (If You Build It) Travel with the Program

Case study on the Intersection of Film and Music with Peter Golub, Sundance Institute Film Music Program Director and Producer Christine O’Malley, If You Build It in Philadelphia at the International House

Posted Mar 19, 2014

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Park City, UT — Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities announced today that Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue will host free screenings of eight films with moderated discussions, panels and artist roundtables in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Centre County and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For a full schedule of events in Pennsylvania visit sundance.org/filmforward.  To view content from past trips visit sundance.org/video/playlists/film-forward/. Over the past three years Film Forward has reached more than 46,000 people in more than 11 countries and 12 US cities.

Film Forward, a partnership of Sundance Institute and four U.S. federal cultural agencies, is a touring program that offers film screenings, workshops and discussions designed to foster dialogue and cross-cultural understanding. It uses the power of cinema to promote broader cultural understanding, inspire curiosity and enhance awareness of shared stories and values across generations, religion, ethnicity and borders. The partnering federal agencies are the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and The Institute of Museum and Library Services.   The 2014 season of Film Forward will reach over 10,000 people through international (Mexico, Taiwan, China, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Indonesia) and domestic locations (California, Michigan, Mississippi and Pennsylvania).

Common themes explored in the films include acceptance, overcoming adversity and the transformative power of art.  In each location, Film Forward seeks audiences that have limited access to independent film, students and the local filmmaking community. The program in Pennsylvania will focus on communities in transition and the empowerment of community engagement.  The program will host workshops featuring both filmmakers. 

“Storytelling through film illuminates different ways of thinking and brings about understanding of new cultures,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. “We look forward to showing these films in libraries, schools and film centers in Pennsylvania, which will inspire a dynamic exchange of ideas among the filmmakers and attendees.”

“Libraries strengthen communities by bringing people together to a safe place where they can connect, exchange ideas, and explore new worlds.  They are a perfect venue for the thought-provoking films presented through Film Forward,” said Susan H. Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We applaud the State Library of Pennsylvania for connecting 22 public libraries with Film Forward and encouraging a statewide dialogue on cultural understanding.”

The Rocket is a deeply personal story about the determination of a boy who has the odds stacked against him,” said filmmaker Kim Mourdaunt. “No matter where the film is shown, audiences around the world can relate to the boy’s struggles and hopefully find some inspiration in his perseverance. I am excited to engage audiences in Pennsylvania and to hear different reactions to the film and how their stories might have parallels to Ahlo and his family.”

Sundance Institute staff members traveling with the program are: Film Forward Director Meredith Lavitt, Sundance Institute Film Music Program Director Peter Golub and Film Forward Manager Bethany Clarke.

Dates, specific venues, partners and schedules for each location will be announced at www.sundance.org/filmforward.

FILM FORWARD Year Four Films:

Circles – (Directed by: Srdan Golubovic )
Five people are affected by a tragic heroic act. Twenty years later, all of them will have to confront the past through their own crises. Will they overcome the guilt, frustration, and the urge for revenge?  Will they do the right thing, at all costs?
International Narrative
 
Dancing in Jaffa – (Directed by: Hilla Medalia)
Renowned ballroom dancer, Pierre Dulaine, takes his belief that dance can overcome political and cultural differences and applies it to 11 year old Jewish and Palestinian Israelis. What occurs is magical and transformative.
International Documentary
 
Fruitvale Station – (Directed by: Ryan Coogler)
The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.
US Narrative
 
If You Build It – (Directed by: Patrick Creadon)
If You Build It spends a year in the life of one of America’s most innovative classrooms.   Designer/activists Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller, together with their high school students, unleash the power of humanitarian design to help their struggling community in rural North Carolina. 
US Documentary
 

The Rocket – (Directed by: Kim Mordaunt)
A boy who is believed to bring bad luck leads his family and a couple of ragged misfits through Laos to find a new home. After a calamity–filled journey through a land scarred by war, the boy sets off to prove he’s not cursed and builds a giant rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival.
International Narrative
 
The World Before Her – (Directed by: Nisha Pahuja)
Moving between two extremes—the intimate verité drama of the Miss India pageant’s rigorous beauty “bootcamp” and the intense regime of a militant Hindu fundamentalist camp for young girls—The World Before Her delivers a provocative portrait of India and its current cultural conflicts during a key transitional era in the country's modern history.
International Documentary
 
Twenty Feet From Stardom – (Directed by: Morgan Neville)
Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. Twenty Feet From Stardom shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.
US Documentary
 
Valentine Road – (Directed by: Marta Cunningham)
On February 12, 2008, eighth-grade student Brandon McInerney shot his classmate Larry King twice in the back of the head. With keen insight, the film connects the human wreckage of Larry’s and Brandon’s troubled lives—both bullied and both searching for a sense of belonging.
US Documentary

Federal Partners
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) bridges the interests of American federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation and excellence in the arts and humanities, and helps incorporate these disciplines into White House objectives. First Lady Michelle Obama is the Honorary Chairman of the PCAH.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov, follow us on Twitter @NEAarts or like us on Facebook.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency, provides support for documentary films, digital media and other educational programs in the humanities through competitive grant programs. The NEH is the nation’s leading supporter of research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: neh.gov.  

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. The agency’s grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit imls.gov and follow @US_IMLS on Twitter and on Facebook.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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Media Contacts:

Sarah Eaton
Sundance Institute
310.360.1981
Sarah_Eaton@sundance.org

Elizabeth Latenser
Sundance Institute
435.658.3456
Elizabeth_Latenser@sundance.org

Film stills and director headshots available upon request. Email press@sundance.org.

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