The Latest

Meet the 2021 Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Grantees

Los Angeles — The Sundance Institute today announced the latest cohort of Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Grantees. A total of $590,000 in unrestricted grant support has been provided to 18 projects in various stages including five in development, eight in production, and five in post-production. Grants are made possible by The Open Society Foundations, the John D.

Sundance Institute Keeps It Local This Summer with For the Locals Screenings

PARK CITY, UTAH — Sundance Institute shared details of their live, free summer events slate today, with screenings and collaborative engagements across a wide range of events in Park City and Salt Lake County, an invigoration of the organization’s deep local roots. For the Locals events will include a weekend-long film program and a series of partnerships across organizations such as Arts Council Park City + Summit County, Ballet West, Christian Center of Park City, Craft Lake City, Dragonfli Media, Park City Film, Salt Lake City Arts Council, THE BLOCKS and Utah Film Center.
The focal point of the Institute’s summer For the Locals program will be the weekend of July 14–17.

Perspectives: “Cousins” Directors Ainsley Gardiner and Briar Grace-Smith on Making Films — and Making History

For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program would like to recognize the Indigenous Asian and Pacific Islander storytellers who have contributed to examining and extolling the richness of Indigenous Asian and Pacific Islander diasporas in their work. Essential to this is the critical examination of the AAPI label. While the term can be mobilized for coalition building, it can also conflate and erase the unique histories and experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

18 Sundance Films to Watch Ahead of Summer Movie Season, from “The Station Agent” to “Better Luck Tomorrow”

The smell of freshly popped popcorn, the whir of an old-school projector, the sheer relief when the industrial air-conditioning unit kicks in — these are the joys of summer moviegoing, and after a year spent cooped up indoors staring at small screens, we’re more excited than ever to head to our favorite theaters. As we head into the long weekend and look forward to venturing out and beginning the (arguably best) season in earnest, we thought we’d give you a bit of homework. The fun kind.

In Focus: Stephen Gong on Transforming Equity in Storytelling Across Platforms

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize the long line of visionary storytellers who have contributed to the independent film canon over the years — and an opportunity to underline the richness and diversity of Asian diasporas in the United States. To celebrate the month, we introduced a new series called In Focus, in which we turn the spotlight on our friends at AAPI-led arts organizations around the country. In previous editions, we talked to Visual Communications’ Francis Cullado and Pacific Islanders in Communications’ Leanne Kaʻiulani Ferrer; this week, we close out the month with Stephen Gong from the Center for Asian American Media.

In Focus: Leanne Kaʻiulani Ferrer on Preserving Pacific Heritage Through the Language of Multimedia

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize the long line of visionary storytellers who have contributed to the independent film canon over the years — and an opportunity to underline the richness and diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander diasporas in the United States. To celebrate the month, we’re introducing a new series called In Focus, in which we turn the spotlight on our friends at AAPI-led arts organizations around the country. Last week, we kicked things off chatting with Visual Communications’ Francis Cullado, and this week, we’re back with Leanne Kaʻiulani Ferrer, executive director of Pacific Islanders in Communications.

7 Essential Pacific Films to Add to Your Queue, from “Once Were Warriors” to “Vai”

In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, it brings me great pleasure to highlight some of my favourite offerings when it comes to films from and/or about the Pacific. Before I do that, though, I think it’s important to give context around what constitutes a “Pacific Islander.”
Technically, the Pacific Islands consist of three regions: Micronesia (“small islands”), Melanesia (“islands of Black people”), and Polynesia (“many islands”).

In Focus: Francis Cullado on Building Solidarity Inside and Outside of the “AAPI” Label

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize the long line of visionary storytellers who have contributed to the independent film canon over the years—and an opportunity to underline the richness and diversity of Asian diasporas in the United States. To celebrate the month, we’re introducing a new series called In Focus, in which we turn the spotlight on our friends at AAPI-led arts organizations around the country, and we’re kicking things off chatting with Francis Cullado, executive director of the Los Angeles–based nonprofit Visual Communications.
Founded in 1970 as a filmmaking collective, Visual Communications was the first U.

Release Rundown: What to Watch in June 2021, from “Zola” to “The Sparks Brothers”

“You wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense,” wrote Aziah “Zola” Wells in 2015, kicking off a lengthy Twitter thread about a road trip gone wrong that left readers riveted. The anticipation mounted when the release of Janicza Bravo’s filmic adaptation—which premiered to rave reviews at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival—was pushed back for more than a full calendar year due to COVID-19 pandemic. But sweet relief is in sight: On June 30, the A24 film starring Taylour Paige and Riley Keough rolls into theaters nationwide.

2021 Sundance Film Festival: Asia Short Film Competition

Sundance Film Festival: Asia presented by XRM Media and fully supported by IDN Media is proud to announce a Short Film Competition sponsored by Argo as part of the Festival. Argo is a streaming platform and global curator of short films. The competition is open to Indonesian filmmakers and aims to discover, nurture and bring attention to emerging talents who are within the territory to a global platform.

2021 Sundance Episodic Fellows

Los Angeles — Sundance Institute announced today the 21 Fellows across 18 projects completing its first-ever multi-track Episodic Lab, designed as an immersive two-part experience hosted on Sundance Collab. This year, Fellows were divided into either the Idea to Pilot Track, in which they developed an original pilot from a nascent early idea to a completed original polished draft, or the Series Track, in which they workshop an existing original pilot and develop a professional series pitch to sell. This structural evolution of the Lab emerged in dialogue with the rapidly shifting ecosystem of the industry, including scaling demand for fresh content across networks, streamers, and platforms.

17 Coming-of-Age Films to Watch During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

From 1980s rural Arkansas (Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari) to Los Angeles’s Koreatown neighborhood (Andrew Ahn’s Spa Night) to 1910s Hawaii (Kayo Hatta’s Picture Bride)
and beyond, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander filmmakers have covered
a lot of ground over the years.
To celebrate these filmmakers and their
work during
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States (and Asian Heritage Month
in Canada!), we’ve dipped into our archives to put together a list of
coming-of-age stories and intergenerational family dramas that have
played the Sundance Film Festival or gone through Sundance Institute
programs over the years.
In this genre-spanning (but certainly not exhaustive) list, you’ll find LGBTQ+ romances, heartfelt dramas, immigrant stories, and so much more.

Now Playing: The Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Short Film Tour

Ed. note: The Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Shorts Tour—curated by the Indigenous Program, and presented with our friends at museums, Native cultural centers, and arthouse cinemas—is now playing on our Vimeo channel. You can watch the free seven-film program through June 30.

Save the Date! The 2022 Sundance Film Festival Is Set for Jan. 20–30

We can’t wait to return to Park City, Salt Lake City — and beyond — for next year’s Sundance Film Festival. The 2022 Festival will take place in person and online January 20–30. We are in the process of designing a safe and accessible Festival where our audiences and artists can come together to celebrate and discover new work, and each other.