2019 Sundance Film Festival Announces Talent Forum Program

Park City, UT — Sundance Institute announced today program information for the first-ever Talent Forum, a new event for creators and industry at the Festival, bringing together a slate of artists and projects across all stages of development. This new event marks an expansion of the nonprofit Institute’s year round continuum of support for independent artists.

Emerging talent from the Institute’s signature artist development Labs and Fellowships will gather at the Festival, in Park City, Utah, to present new work to industry attendees, alongside a special artist-only program of keynotes, screenings, gatherings and seminars. From Tuesday, January 29 through Thursday, January 31, the Sundance Institute Talent Forum will feature some of the most promising storytellers from across the Institute’s various disciplines ready for the next step with their careers or projects.

“We’re eager to unfold this first edition and convene our vibrant community. While the Institute continues to encourage artists to find their voices, it takes the dedicated support of our industry colleagues to carry those voices out into the world,” said the Institute’s Anne Lai, Caroline Libresco and John Nein in a joint statement.

Talent Forum activities will take place at the Kimball Art Center in Park City and revolve around tailored one-on-one meetings designed to support the artist — whether they are focused on career development or propelling a new project through development, packaging, financing, or distribution.

Projects: 42 highly anticipated fiction, nonfiction, and emerging media projects presented by Sundance Institute Fellows. This slate includes projects at all stages of development, seeking everything from creative collaborators to financing partners to representation.

Artists: 17 Fellows, selected from Sundance Institute’s signature artist-development programs, and each aiming to discover new collaborators, build dynamic networks, and propel bold, new work forward.

Festival Filmmakers: 47 filmmaking teams, composed of select directors, writers, producers, and other creatives with work in the festival. Each team seeks to spark new industry relationships and seed new projects and opportunities.

The full list of inaugural Sundance Institute Talent Forum Fellows and projects is available HERE.

Special Events

A series of special events and parties are designed to convene and inspire the rich community of artists assembled at the Sundance Film Festival, connecting them with each other and with industry. Among these are two keynote conversations, daily cocktail hours and a closing party.

Keynote Conversations

The two keynote conversations are designed to inspire creativity and build community among the incredible array of global independent artists attending the Festival.

Filmmaker Ryan Coogler in Conversation with New York Times Journalist Jenna Wortham

New York Times journalist and Still Processing podcaster Jenna Wortham talks with writer-director Ryan Coogler about his creative process, storytelling vision, and trajectory– as he journeyed from emerging Sundance Lab Fellow with his first feature Fruitvale Station to making Black Panther in just a few short years.

The Year that Was: Creative Freedom and the Golden Age of Non-Fiction Cinema

We’ve called it a renaissance for a while, but 2018 was a Golden Year amidst a Golden Age. It was the year docs seemed to be on people’s minds, on Barack Obama’s favorite films list, celebrated widely in theaters and across numerous platforms, and talked about at water coolers. Join filmmakers Morgan Neville (Won’t You Be My Neighbor), Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo), Alexandria Bombach (On Her Shoulders), along with acclaimed documentarian Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Coral) in an exploration of the bold, cinematic storytelling that is fueling a zeitgeist moment.

Roundtables & Workshops

Breaking In: Commercial and Branded Content Workshop for Underrepresented Independent Filmmakers

Moderator Alma Har’el, founder of Free the Bid and director of US Dramatic Competition entry Honeyboy, leads a workshop with players from all aspects of the creative advertising ecosystem to explore new developments and opportunities that can benefit independent artists.

Breaking Down the Walls: How Intrepid Artists Are Reaching Audiences

Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Initiative will host a panel featuring artists from various disciplines who have successfully navigated outside-the-box marketing and distribution strategies.

Little Ethiopia: Story Development as Live Performance

Little Ethiopia spotlights the unique take of editors Maya Hawke and Joe Bini (You Were Never Really Here, American Honey, Grizzly Man) on the story development process. This live film performance combines personal photographs and iPhone videos with clips from films they have edited alongside their live narration. Together they explore the edges of personal filmmaking.

Closing Night Party

Opening set curated by Sundance Institute Film Music Program, featuring alumni Carla Patullo (2018) and Kathryn Bostic (2013).


The Sundance Film Festival®

The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Eighth Grade, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs and sex, lies, and videotape. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2019 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire, YouTube; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, Amazon Studios, AT&T, DIRECTV, Dropbox, Netflix, Omnicom, Stella Artois; Sustaining Sponsors – Ancestry, Canada Goose, Canon, Dell, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, High West Distillery, IMDbPro, Lyft, RIMOWA, Unity Technologies, University of Utah Health; Media Sponsors – The Atlantic, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, VARIETY, The Wall Street Journal. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Partner seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival

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 Sorry to Bother You, Eighth Grade, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, RBG, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Top of the Lake, Winter’s Bone, Dear White People, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, I’m Poppy, America to Me, Leimert Park, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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