Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
Since 1981, Sundance Institute has supported more than 6,000 artists who have brought original stories and authentic voices to the screen and stage. Our primary commitment has always been to support the development of independent film and theatre and to expose it to audiences – in any way possible.
Recent advancements in technology, marketing, distribution and the emergence of crowd funding have created new opportunities for audiences to experience your work. But, as we’ve heard from many of you, it is challenging to navigate this shifting landscape.
Today we are launching #ArtistServices, a new initiative designed to help all of you independently distribute and/or fund your work. For those of you with feature-length films that were shown at the Festival or supported through our Labs or grants, #ArtistServices provides access to the leading online distribution portals on terms negotiated by the Institute on your behalf. If you choose to participate, your project will be identified as a Sundance film and will receive promotional support from the Institute.
Our partners in this effort are iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Netflix, Sundance Now, and YouTube. Kickstarter is on board as a creative funding service and Topspin Media will provide direct-to-fan marketing tools. The Institute is not acting as a distributor. Rather, as a nonprofit organization, we are enabling you and your creative teams to distribute your own work under the terms of pre-negotiated, transparent and universal contracts we have created for those of you who are interested. You will select the distribution portal(s) that you decide are best for your film, and you will retain all rights to your work.
A new private #ArtistServices website contains all of the information on these deals. Additionally, the site offers exclusive content on creative funding through our Kickstarter partnership, expert case studies, and information on self-distribution and marketing from leaders in the independent film and technology industries. You don’t need to have a movie ready to distribute in order to benefit from the information we’ve gathered here.
We are proud that industry leader New Video has joined us to manage these services to our partners as our exclusive aggregator. Law firm O’Melveny & Myers has spent many months donating their services and executing these opportunities on your collective behalf. The Bertha Foundation has generously joined us a funding partner to our Initiative.
On behalf of our Board of Trustees, advisory committees of alumni and thought leaders, our staff, and of course, our creative partners, I hope that you will find this new initiative useful. We welcome your feedback.
PS: if you are one of our beloved Theatre or Film Music alumni, there’s something for you too. Check our Creative Financing opportunities with partner Kickstarter.com