Los Angeles — Sundance Institute today announced that $1 million in new funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will bring artist development day labs to eight cities across the U.S. over the next three years. Programming will target a wide range of filmmakers, screenwriters, producers and composers with workshops building on the experience of Sundance Institute’s renowned residency labs.
In addition, over the course of three years, 12 filmmakers from these cities will be named Sundance | Knight Fellows, and participate in special screenings, panels and professional development opportunities at the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Keri Putnam, Sundance Institute Executive Director, said, “Sundance Institute is committed to supporting diverse independent artists at an early stage in their career. Building on the success of last year’s Knight Fellows Pilot Project, we are now able to directly reach independent artists in regions across the country.”
Workshops, panels and labs will take place in the following communities: Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit; Miami; Macon, Ga.; Philadelphia; San Jose, Calif.; and St. Paul, Minn. Sundance Institute will bring together its national pool of alumni artists as mentors and panelists, and work with local host arts organizations for programming partnerships in each community. The new funding follows a successful pilot project in Miami and Philadelphia during the past year, where hundreds of filmmakers took part.
“Over the last few years, independent filmmakers in these communities have begun to use film to tell unique and compelling stories about their cities that resound with audiences around the globe,” said Dennis Scholl, Vice President of Arts for Knight Foundation. “By bringing Sundance Institute to these eight cities, we hope that emerging filmmakers will have access to the training necessary to launch their films and, eventually, a connect with a wider audience.”
An ArtistServices workshop on Saturday, Oct. 25, at O Cinema in Miami, will be the first event of the series. Industry experts will lead discussions on the latest technology, tools and tactics in creative financing, digital distribution, guerilla marketing and independent theatrical distribution. Participation is free and RSVP required at sundance.org/artistservices. Workshops will take place in the other communities beginning in 2015.
Knight Foundation’s arts program has supported local filmmaking as a way to build community, including supporting film festivals in these eight cities, in addition to providing seed funding for independent cinemas and professional development for filmmakers.
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to connect audiences to their work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling as art and as a compelling and powerful way to inform, inspire and unite people. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, 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.
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.
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