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New Frontier Story Lab

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The Sundance Institute’s New Frontier program was created to identify and foster independent artists innovating in the art and form of storytelling at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music and technology. Fulfilling this mission includes providing a place for audience to view and participate in their work and building a community of collaborators across diverse disciplines to push the boundaries of story.

The New Frontier program began in 2007 with the formation of an exhibition and programming at the Sundance Film Festival. The dynamic work being presented at New Frontier inspired the Sundance Institute to deepen its support of storytellers pioneering new mediums and methodologies by establishing the New Frontier Story Lab in 2011.

With an emphasis on story, this Lab supports artists who are developing interactive, immersive, or experimental projects that aim to create rich and resonant experiences for audiences. Therefore, New Frontier Story Lab is open to a wide variety of storytelling disciplines, forms and story designs; as long as the project is working to innovate the art of story.

The 2013 New Frontier Story Lab supported six projects at the Sundance Resort in Utah for a week-long immersive Story Lab experience in October, with a group of leading artists, designers, filmmakers, storytellers, technologists and innovators in the field. The Fellows included: Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva with #PostModem, Joshua Frankel and Judd Greenstein with An Untitled Opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacob, Jay Bushman and M. Elizabeth Hughes with Hashtag Hamlet, Klip Collective with Vacant America, Banker White and Sarah Kramer with The Memory Mosaic, and Gary Baseman and David Charles with Mythical Creatures.

After identifying the unique needs of each selected project, the Sundance Institute sources expert Creative Advisors to provide individualized feedback and creates a custom agenda of activities to support the development of the projects. The 2013 Fellows were supported by a incredible group of Creative Advisors including Scott Snibbe (Artist – Bjork’s Biophila), D.V. DeVincentis (Screenwriter – High Fidelity), Chris Holmes (Musician and DJ – Beck, Paul McCartney), Sandi DuBowski (Director – Trembling Before G-d), Wesley Strick (Screenwriter – Cape Fear), Nick Fortugno (Co-Founder, Playmatics), Katherine Dieckmann (Screenwriter and Director, Motherhood), Lance Weiler (Artist – Pandemic 1.0, Collapsus), Lynn Nottage (Playwright – Ruined), Noland Walker (Director - A Day in the Life of Jeremiah Burke High School), Susan Bonds (CEO, 42 Entertainment), Lynette Wallworth (Artist – CORAL Rekindling Venus), Stewart Wallace (Composer – The Bonesetter’s Daughter opera), Jeremy Mendes (National Film Board of Canada, Interactive Producer – Bear 71) and Aaron Koblin (Creative Director of the Data Arts Team, Google’s Creative Lab).

Sundance Institute Selects Six Creative Teams and Projects for New Frontier Story Lab, October 23-28

Previous projects supported in the Lab include:


Chris Milk’s multiplatform interactive narrative experience inspired by the music produced by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi.

18 Days of Egypt

A crowdsourced non-linear documentary of the revolution in Egypt.

The Silent History

A serialized novel written and designed specifically for the iPhone and iPad.

Question Bridge: Black Males

A transmedia art project that facilitates a dialogue and identity mapping among a critical mass of Black men in America, which premiered at New Frontier during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Kill Shakespeare

An epic adventure into the Bard’s canon that traverses the transmedia landscape of graphic novels, theater, film, and mobile gaming.

Reinvention Stories

An interactive film experience and public radio series about members of the Dayton Ohio community reinventing themselves.

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