From the Utah Mountains to the Beverly Hills: Sundance Celebrates

Sundance Institute is well-known for bringing indie film to the mountains of Utah. Last night, the Institute brought the spirit of Sundance back to its other home base in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday, June 8, under the trees at Franklin Canyon Ranch in Beverly Hills, CA, Sundance Institute hosted its first-ever Los Angeles benefit. Celebrate Sundance Institute was a festive evening filled with Sundance filmmakers and supporters to celebrate the Institute founded by Robert Redford.

Michelle Satter, Robert Redford, and Keri Putnam. Photo by Michael Buckner.

With remarks from Robert Redford, Celebrate Sundance Institute honored Michelle Satter, director of the Feature Film Program since 1981, with the Vanguard Award and celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Feature Film Program. The evening began with remarks from Wally Weisman, chairman of Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees, and Sundance Film Festival alumni Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z-Boys, Riding Giants) and Brit Marling (Another Earth and Sound of My Voice).

Stacy Peralta spoke about bringing his first film Dogtown and Z-Boys to the Festival in 2001 saying “it was the first time I really felt like a filmmaker”; and screenwriter and actress Brit Marling quoted the Queen from Alice in Wonderland saying that Sundance allows people to believe in “impossible things.”

Brit Marling and Cary Fukunaga. Photo by Michael Buckner.

The evening also featured remarks from Keri Putnam, executive director of Sundance Institute, and alumni representing all of the Institute’s core programs: Jennifer Arnold (Documentary Film Program), Gingger Shankar (Film Music Program), Billy Luther (Native Program), David Adjmi (Theatre Program) and Cary Fukunaga (Feature Film Program).

“We are thrilled to be able to engage the Los Angeles community in support of our year-round work,” said Keri Putnam. “It was a beautiful evening in celebration of current Fellows, past alumni, sponsors, and friends, whose enthusiasm for our work fuels our organization.”

John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival introduced a performance by Fitz and the Tantrums (whose Moneygrabber video was directed by Sundance alumni Mike Mohan and produced by Sundance Creative Producing Fellow Jennifer Cochis).

John Singleton and Don Cheadle. Photo by Michael Buckner.

Attendees at the inaugural event included Robert Redford, Keri Putnam, Michelle Satter, Jennifer Arnold, Miguel Arteta, Jason Blum, Don Cheadle, John Cooper, Cary Fukunaga, Steve Gaghan, John Gatins, Michael Goldenberg, Steve Golin, Peter Golub, Lauren Greenfield, Clark Gregg, Trevor Groth, John Lee Hancock, James Newton Howard, Anna Kendrick, Braden King, Karyn Kohl, Jeremy Konner, Bettina Korek, Christine Lahti, Kasi Lemmons, Brit Marling, Demitri Martin, Bret Mckenzie, Tracy McKnight, Cara Mertes, Stacy Peralta, Mark Roybal, Bird Runnignwater, Jeffrey & Catherine Soros, Ondi Timoner, Derek Waters, Marc Webb, Mike White, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and many more.

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