Sundance Institute Announces Fourth Year of FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue

Touring Program of Film Screenings, Workshops and Discussions to Visit Michigan, California, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Indonesia, China and Taiwan

Films Include Circles, Dancing in Jaffa, Fruitvale Station, If You Build It, The Rocket, The World Before Her, Twenty Feet From Stardom and Valentine Road

Innovative Public/Private Collaboration Continues with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanitiesand Institute of Museum and Library Services

Posted Oct 31, 2013

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Park City, UT — Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities announced today the program details for the fourth year of FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue.

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 films selected for the fourth year of FILM FORWARD are: Circles by Srdan Golubovic, Dancing in Jaffa by Hilla Medalia, Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler, If You Build It by Patrick Creadon, The Rocket by Kim Mordaunt, The World Before Her by Nisha Pahuja, Twenty Feet From Stardomby Morgan Neville and Valentine Road by Marta Cunningham. Common themes explored in the films include communities in conflict, overcoming adversity and the transformative power of art.   

FILM FORWARD domestic program locations include: Detroit, Michigan; San Diego, California; Jackson, Mississippi; and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. FILM FORWARD international program locations include: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Indonesia, China and Taiwan. In each location, FILM FORWARD seeks audiences that are new to independent film, students and the local filmmaking community.

 “These films are an extraordinary representation of universal themes that will inspire and challenge audiences to look at their community and our world in a new way,” said Keri Putnam, Sundance Institute Executive Director. “FILM FORWARD uses the powerful medium of film and storytelling to bring people of different cultures, viewpoints, and backgrounds together in a shared dialogue.”

“In today’s turbulent world, it is more important than ever to identify and share stories that bring us together rather than drive us apart.  FILM FORWARD is a compelling example of a program that builds bridges and then crosses them, revealing the bonds between diverse cultures and peoples,” said Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.   Along with our federal partners,  the National Endowment  for the Arts, the National Endowment  for the Humanities  and the Institute of Museum and Library  Services, we are proud to share FILM FORWARD with more new audiences around the world.“

“FILM FORWARD is a unique program  that allowed me to travel to remote places around the world to connect with audiences who are hungry to chase their own dreams and overcome their own cultural obstacles to becoming a filmmaker, writer or artist,” said Stacy Peralta, filmmaker and FILM FORWARD Year Three Participant. “Many along the way thank us profusely for coming to their town to connect and share ideas. For me though, this is a heartfelt example of what you give, you get back ten-fold.  I am the richer for being part of FILM FORWARD.”

Dates, specific venues, partners and schedules for the fourth year of the program 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: www.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 http://www.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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