Sundance Film Forward Travels to Cuba July 14-16

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute announced today its return to Cuba with film screenings and filmmaker discussions open to the public as part of Sundance Film Forward, July 14-16. Local artists, students, and film lovers are invited to attend public events at venues across Havana, including Cine Yara and Casa del Festival.

Sundance Film Forward will host free screenings of acclaimed independent films Me and Earl and the Dying Girl with novelist/screenwriter Jesse Andrews and Meru with director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. After the screenings, the filmmakers and audience members will engage in Q&A sessions to discuss the films. Students and artists will have the unique opportunity to attend a private filmmaker roundtable hosted by John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, Paul Federbush, International Director of the Institute’s Feature Film Program, and Meredith Lavitt, Director of Sundance Film Forward. Cooper, Federbush and Lavitt will also meet with local filmmakers to provide insights for aspiring young artists, watch their work and discuss the art of storytelling.

These events are part of the Institute’s ongoing programs in Cuba. Late last year the Institute visited Cuba to present a suite of programs in screenwriting, producing, film music and documentary editing, in a new partnership with the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema and La Escuela Internacional De Cine Y TV (EICTV). The program offered a Screenwriting Panel with Scott Z. Burns, Erin Cressida Wilson, Sebastian Silva and Ethan Hawke and several master classes, including a creative producing class with Christine Vachon. From 1989 to 2000, the Feature Film Program (FFP) at Sundance Institute collaborated with ​a number of Cuban arts organizations on an exchange program for American and Cuban filmmakers. During these years, the Institute hosted the filmmakers Todd Haynes, Rory Kennedy, Todd Solondz, and Liz Garbus, among others with screenings at the Festival and lively conversations and meetings with filmmakers from Cuba and other countries in Latin America.

Sundance Film Forward is a touring program designed for 18 to 24 year olds, students and artists that offers film screenings and discussions to excite and cultivate new audiences for independent film. It uses the power of cinema to promote broader cultural understanding, inspire curiosity and enhance awareness of shared stories and values across generations, religions, ethnicities and borders. Sundance Film Forward is an initiative of Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

For a full schedule of Sundance Film Forward events and venues, visit


Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. 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. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Sundance Film Forward Federal Partners
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) bridges the interests of American federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation and excellence in the arts and humanities, and helps incorporate these disciplines into White House objectives. First Lady Michelle Obama is the Honorary Chairman of the PCAH.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at, follow us on Twitter @NEAarts or like us on Facebook.

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