Sundance Institute and Starlight Partner to Launch Grant Program Supporting Diverse Filmmakers​

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LOS ANGELES — The Sundance Institute and Peter Luo’s Starlight Media (Crazy Rich Asians, Midway, Marshall, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) have partnered to launch a new grant program, the Sundance Institute | Stars Collective Granting Fund, to support diverse filmmakers.

Both Starlight and Sundance Institute share a deep commitment to supporting artists from historically marginalized communities. Tapping into an initial fund of $200,000 provided by Starlight, this new program will provide unrestricted grants, ranging from $1,500 to $10,000, to diverse filmmakers working in nonfiction and fiction. The grantees will be chosen by Sundance Institute staff and an external committee from a pool of applicants currently receiving creative and tactical support through Institute programs. The nonrecoupable grants will focus on critical development support as well as urgent needs in advancing projects forward through pre-production, production, post-production, and self-distribution.

Applications will be open on a rolling basis, allowing filmmakers to apply for support when needed. Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, Feature Film Program, and Outreach & Inclusion teams will work together with Starlight‘s Creative Executive, Juefang Jennifer Zhang, on this partnership.

The Sundance Institute | Stars Collective Granting Fund furthers Starlight’s ongoing mission to support emerging filmmakers.

Starlight’s umbrella Stars Collective program was launched earlier this year to amplify diverse voices, with a central focus on promoting the next generation of aspiring diverse filmmakers and creative storytellers. The program supports 30 to 50 emerging filmmakers with a multimillion-dollar fund, and will involve established filmmakers on an advisory commission becoming creative mentors for the emerging filmmakers.

Said Peter Luo, “Our goal is to create impact within the film industry and support diverse artists at all stages of development. Sundance Institute is a powerful ally in helping this come to fruition as they have the infrastructure to identify artists and projects through its current roster of artists from across all of its program Labs, Intensives and Film Festival. During this challenging time in the world, we very much look forward to providing assistance and opportunities for the next generation of storytellers.”

Said Michelle Satter, Sundance Institute’s Founding Director, Feature Film Program, “We’re excited to join Starlight in their commitment to supporting filmmakers during these uncertain times, when support for independent voices is both historically challenging and crucial. This partnership will provide meaningful grants to diverse filmmakers, ensuring that there will be powerful, enduring stories from vibrant, diverse perspectives in the years to come.”

Applications for Sundance Institute | Stars Collective Granting Fund will be available beginning December 1, 2020. Interested applicants are required to email to confirm eligibility and receive an application code.

About Sundance Institute

As a champion and curator of independent stories for the stage and screen, the nonprofit Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, film composing, and digital media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs which are dedicated to developing new work and take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally, are supported largely through contributed revenue. Sundance Co//ab, a digital community platform, brings artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect 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. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On The Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, City So Real, Top of the Lake, Between the World & Me, Wild Goose Dreams and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

About Starlight

An advocate for bringing Asian culture to Hollywood, Starlight CEO Peter Luo operates out of the company’s offices in Beverly Hills, and has brokered content deals with prominent filmmakers such as Robert Zemeckis, Sam Raimi, Sylvester Stallone, James Wan, F. Gary Gray, Roland Emmerich, and Jon M. Chu.

Starlight has been involved in a wide range of critically and commercially successful films including “Marshall,” starring Chadwick Boseman; John Chu’s “Crazy Rich Asians”, the sci/fi horror hit “Greta”, starring Chloe Grace Moretz; “Midway”, the WWII action/drama starring Woody Harrelson, Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, and Luke Evans; and the horror/mystery/thriller “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” from Guillermo del Toro.

Upcoming films for Starlight include the supernatural horror film “UMMA” for Sony Pictures, which is a Starlight collaboration with Sam Rami, and stars Sandra Oh; an action/crime/thriller trilogy starring Thai martial arts and action star Tony Jaa; and the crime/action/thriller “Golden Empire,” starring Donnie Yen as the world’s most successful multinational drug lord.

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Media Contacts

For Starlight

Dennis Dembia

Rogers & Cowan / PMK

For Sundance Institute

Tammie Rosen

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