2024 Women to Watch x Adobe Fellows Announced

Year-round Program Offers Pivotal Support to Women Filmmakers

PARK CITY, UTAH, July 10, 2024 — The nonprofit Sundance Institute announced today the eight women participating in the 2024 Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellowship, a yearlong support program designed to further support and sustain the creative practice of women artists, prioritizing filmmakers from historically underrepresented communities. The program began in 2020 and was informed by the Institute and Adobe’s shared commitment to develop and champion underrepresented voices at pivotal moments in their careers.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Adobe to provide meaningful support for women artists creating groundbreaking work in film,” said Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs, Director of Artist Accelerator and Women at Sundance. “The Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellowship offers a comprehensive approach, including a sustainability-focused cash grant, professional and tactical skills development, networking and opportunities. By addressing systemic barriers women encounter in the industry, we aim to empower these visionary artists. We deeply appreciate Adobe’s commitment and look forward to guiding these women on their creative journeys.”

The fellows are each supported with a $6,250 cash grant; workshops; referrals for career development opportunities; a yearlong complimentary membership to Adobe Creative Cloud to create, share their stories, and further refine their craft; a virtual connection to the Sundance ELEVATE professional development track; and access to Sundance Collab, Sundance Institute’s digital space for artists to learn from experts and build a global filmmaking community.

The fellows are selected jointly with Adobe from Sundance Institute’s community of supported artists across program disciplines, including the Feature Film Program, Documentary Film Program, Episodic Program, Indigenous Program, and Artist Accelerator Program. In addition to the Women to Watch x Adobe Fellowship, Adobe is a Presenting Sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival and Founding Supporter of Sundance Ignite (a yearlong artist development program for filmmakers ages 18–25). Adobe also supports Sundance Collab.

The fellows selected for the 2024 Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellowship are:

Francesca Canepa is a Peruvian director residing in Mexico City. Her short film The Silence of the River premiered at the Berlinale 2020. Her feature film La Otra Orilla was selected for the 2024 Sundance Screenwriters Lab and is currently in pre-production after winning the French CNC Production Fund.

Artemis Fannin produces films that uniquely amplify marginalized voices. Her career spans across all major platforms. She is currently the Managing Producer with 371 Productions and working on two active projects. She is an alum of the Southern Producers Lab 2023 and the 2023 Sundance Producers Intensive. 

Kristine Gerolaga is a Filipina American filmmaker and actor. She is supported by Sundance Institute’s Artist Accelerator Program as a 2023 TAAF Collab Scholar and the Feature Film Program as a 2024 Screenwriters Lab fellow with her horror feature film Lamok.

Sylvia Khoury is a New York-based filmmaker and playwright. She received her MD from the Icahn School of Medicine in 2021 and is a 2022 Pulitzer Finalist in Drama (Selling Kabul). She is a 2024 Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Lab Fellow, where she developed her feature script, I’m Heather.

Jane Casey Modderno wrote both seasons of The Birch (Facebook Watch) and The Girl in the Woods (Peacock). As director, her shorts have screened worldwide and are up on Vimeo’s Staff Picks. She was a fellow at the 2024 Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs and recipient of the Institute’s Comedy Fellowship.

Gabriella García Pardo is a nonfiction director/producer/cinematographer drawn to our relationship to land and nonhumans. After leading horse treks in Chile, she began her career at NPR and Nat Geo. She produced La Bonga (True/False 2023) and Backside. She’s the director of The Bardia (Mountainfilm 2022) and Fenced

Jolene Pinder was born, raised, and is based in the American South. She is a documentary producer, arts administrator, and academic working at a convergence of social issue storytelling and regional filmmaker advocacy. She helmed the New Orleans Film Society, #CreateLouisiana, and Kartemquin Films and teaches at Tulane University.

Jana Schmieding is a Lakota actor, writer, and producer known for her roles in Rutherford Falls and Reservation Dogs. Schmieding is developing the multicam Bonnie for CBS, which she’s set to star in, as well as her feature film Auntie Chuck, developed as a part of the 2023 Sundance Indigenous Program.

Recent highlights for previous Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe fellows include:

  • Deidre Backs produced and Miciana Hutcherson co-wrote the feature Fancy Dance, directed by Erica Tremblay, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and won Best Cinematography at SXSW. Fancy Dance was acquired by Apple and opened in theaters in June  before moving to Apple TV+. Backs is a fellow in the 2024 Gotham Cannes Producers Network Program.
  • Gabriela Ortega is currently seeking financing for her film Huella and meeting with potential investors. Ortega starred in Border Hopper, a short film that premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.
  • Keisha Rae Witherspoon is a 2024 Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs fellow.
  • Aisha Bhoori is currently adapting Huma Abedin’s New York Times’ bestselling memoir, Both/And, into a limited series with Freida Pinto attached to star.
  • Cris Gris directed three episodes of the recently premiered Max series Ugly.
  • Laura Moss’ directorial debut, birth/rebirth, premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival after being developed at the 2020 Sundance Institute Directors and Screenwriters Labs with co-writer Brendan J. O’Brien.
  • Dionne Edwards’ feature debut, Pretty Red Dress, opens theatrically this summer after premiering at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival and being developed at Sundance Institute’s  Directors and Screenwriters Labs.
  • Iliana Sosa’s feature documentary What We Leave Behind had its world premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival and was a 2022 Gotham Award nominee for Best Documentary.
  • Milisuthando Bongela’s debut documentary feature, Milisuthando, premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Women at Sundance is made possible by leadership support from Adobe, The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, Bill and Ruth Ann Harnisch – The Harnisch Foundation, and NBCUniversal. Additional support is provided by Kimberly Steward, The Latinx House, and Pat Mitchell and Scott Seydel.

Sundance Institute

As a champion and curator of independent stories, the nonprofit Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists across storytelling media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Collab, a digital community platform, brings a global cohort of working artists together to learn from Sundance advisors and connect with each other in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Through the Sundance Institute artist programs, we have supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Big Sick, Bottle Rocket, Boys Don’t Cry, Boys State, Call Me by Your Name, Clemency, CODA, Drunktown’s Finest, The Farewell, Fire of Love, Flee, The Forty-Year-Old Version, Fruitvale Station, Get Out, Half Nelson, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hereditary, Honeyland, The Infiltrators, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Little Woods, Love & Basketball, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Mudbound, Nanny, Navalny, O.J.: Made in America, One Child Nation, Pariah, Raising Victor Vargas, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, RBG, Sin Nombre, Sorry to Bother You, The Souvenir, Strong Island, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Swiss Army Man, Sydney, A Thousand and One, Top of the Lake, Walking and Talking, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and Zola. Through year-round artist programs, the Institute also nurtured the early careers of such artists as Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Gregg Araki, Darren Aronofsky, Lisa Cholodenko, Ryan Coogler, Nia DaCosta, The Daniels, David Gordon Green, Miranda July, James Mangold, John Cameron Mitchell, Kimberly Peirce, Boots Riley, Ira Sachs, Quentin Tarantino, Taika Waititi, Lulu Wang, and Chloé Zhao. Support Sundance Institute in our commitment to uplifting bold artists and powerful storytelling globally by making a donation at sundance.org/donate. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.


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