Sundance Institute's commitment to supporting Native American artists is woven throughout our history. Native American filmmakers have long been involved in the Institute, going back to Larry LittleBird (Taos Pueblo) and Chris SpottedEagle (Houmas Nation) who participated in the first meetings founding Sundance Institute. Following President and Founder Robert Redford's original vision, the Institute has remained committed to supporting the voices of Native American artists.
The Native Program has built and sustained an Indigenous film circle. The cycle of our work begins by scouting for and identifying Native American and Indigenous artists, bringing them through the mechanisms of support at Sundance Institute to get their work made and shown, then bringing the filmmakers and their work back to native lands. The Native Lab Fellowship has been a vital part of supporting Native filmmakers full-circle since 2004. Four projects were selected annually for the Fellowship from a national competition and supported in two phases over the course of a year. Starting in 2015 the Fellowship will be restructured to pilot a Shorts Production Fellowship for emerging Native American filmmakers.
The Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Ford Foundation, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, SAGIndie, Comcast-NBCUniversal, Cindy and Alan Horn, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and CBS.