Park City, UT — November 22, 2023 –The nonprofit global arts organization Sundance Institute and the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado announced today that the Stanley Hotel will host the Institute’s signature Directors Lab in 2024 with support from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). For over four decades, Sundance Institute labs have brought together promising new independent storytellers with accomplished artists to develop new work and build a long-lasting, vibrant community.
The Directors Lab nurtures diverse, original voices through an immersive filmmaking experience over two to three weeks every summer. Connected to nature, the lab creates a safe, inclusive space for first-time feature directors to rehearse, shoot, and edit scenes that will build their skills working with actors, exploring text, and finding the visual language and aesthetic for their films.
For over 40 years, the Directors Lab has taken place in the founding location of the Sundance Resort in Utah. Next year, the lab will relocate to Colorado while construction in outdoor areas and primary shooting locations takes place to enhance the Sundance property.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to bring the Directors Lab to the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. In identifying a host for our Directors Lab, it was essential to find a space that was surrounded by nature for artists to create, had multiple environments for shooting, and could be an environment where artists could leave behind the distractions of everyday life and immerse themselves in their projects. We are deeply grateful to both the Stanley Hotel and the state of Colorado for welcoming the Directors Lab to Colorado,” said Michelle Satter, founding senior director of artist programs at Sundance Institute.
“We are pleased to welcome the Sundance Institute’s Directors Lab to Colorado in 2024. The Stanley Hotel and Estes Park will provide inspiring backdrops for this prestigious workshop and showcase the many resources our state offers the film industry, including the unparalleled natural beauty of filming locations,” said Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman.
“The Stanley is very pleased to continue its long tradition of supporting the arts and honored to have Sundance and all of their creative partners here,” said John Cullen, owner of the iconic hotel since 1996. “I look forward to hosting and seeing what happens when hundreds of such talented people come together to the Colorado mountains to share their skills and experiences in such a collaborative environment.”
Sundance Institute Labs for emerging artists take place throughout the year at locations across the country. In addition to the Directors Lab at the Stanley Hotel, the following labs will take place in 2024: the January Screenwriters Lab and Episodic Lab at the Sundance Resort in Utah, the Native Lab in New Mexico, the Ignite Lab at MASS MoCA in Massachusetts, and the Producers Lab at UCross Foundation in Wyoming.
The Directors Lab is an essential component of the year-round Feature Film Program (FFP), which also includes the January Screenwriters Lab, March Screenwriters Intensive, June Screenwriters Lab, Producers Lab, and year-long fellowships, granting, and a continuum of customized support. The labs have supported many of the leading and award-winning artists who have defined the independent film ecosystem, including A.V. Rockwell (A Thousand and One), Charlotte Wells (Aftersun), Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me), Sterlin Harjo (Four Sheets to the Wind), Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball), The Daniels (Swiss Army Man), Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Paul Thomas Anderson (Hard Eight), and Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs) among many others.
The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program is supported by explore.org, a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; The Asian American Foundation (TAAF); United Airlines; Hartbeat; The Walt Disney Company; Maja Kristin; Kimberly Steward—K Period Media; NBCUniversal; Golden Globe Foundation; Ray and Dagmar Dolby Fund; National Endowment for the Arts; NHK/NHK Enterprises, Inc.; Levantine Films; Max Rifkind-Barron; Directors Guild of America; T-Street Productions; Rosalie Swedlin and Robert Cort; Deborah Reinisch and Michael Theodore Fund; Octavia Spencer; Scott and Jennifer Frank.
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 artists such 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.
About the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with partners to create a positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor Jared Polis, we strive to advance the state’s economy through financial and technical assistance that fosters local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado. OEDIT offers a host of programs and services tailored to support business development at every level, including business retention services, business relocation services, and business funding and incentives. Our office includes the Global Business Development division; Colorado Tourism Office; Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office; Colorado Creative Industries; Business Financing & Incentives division; the Colorado Small Business Development Network; Cannabis Business Office; Colorado Office of Film, TV & Media; the Minority Business Office; Employee Ownership Office; and Rural Opportunity Office. Learn more at oedit.colorado.gov.
The Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel is one of America’s most iconic historic hotels. Built in 1909 and standing at the gateway of Rocky Mountain National Park, it has 234 luxury rooms and residences along with five restaurants, including the world-renowned Whiskey Bar with over 1,000 selections. The Concert Hall hosts over 100 music concerts, artist performances, and weddings and receptions every year.