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Exploring the Relationship Between Storyteller and Audience at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

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Nate von Zumwalt

The power of storytelling rests in the layered relationship between storyteller and audience. When a storyteller exudes a distinctively formed vision, the audience is emboldened to engage with that vision through the prism of their life experiences. The result is, on one hand, a shared experience among disparate perspectives. But it is also a vibrant moment allowing for a specific vision to exist in the world in infinite and unexpected ways.

The 2018 Sundance Film Festival identity celebrates and explores this truth – that audiences are integral to every story. In this way, it is also a testament to the belief that not only is it ok to feel anything at any moment, but that it is a unifying part of the human experience. When you encounter terms such as “obsession,” “dreaming,” and “revel,” and pairings like “unbearable joy” and “untidy truth,” we hope they spark a thought, a feeling, and ultimately a story. As we release this year’s stories into the world, we look forward to the ways in which they will bend and evolve as you experience them.

We’re thrilled to introduce this year’s official 2018 Sundance Film Festival poster, created by Sundance Institute designer Jessica Kulchock.

The 2018 identity was developed in collaboration with the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. A 3-day brainstorm and creation session took place last spring with 15 students and three faculty members. The students were split into 5 groups of 3, and the winning concept was created by Andy Gutierrez, Michele Lee and Charles Lin.

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Sundance Institute Piloting Direct Individual Support for Mediamakers Through the Sundance Institute | Humanities Sustainability Fellowship

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life in general, and halted production and distribution for many creatives, the nonfiction field was plagued by issues of sustainability. For several years, sustainability has been an urgent and vigorous topic of study, debate, and organizing, as more and more filmmakers find it difficult, if not impossible, to make a living solely on the basis of their creative work. 

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