Sundance Institute And Mahindra Group Announce A Multi-Faceted Collaboration

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PARK CITY, UT — Sundance Institute and Mahindra Group today announced a multifaceted agreement that showcases the commitment to and support of independent cinema around the world both by the Mahindra Group, one of the largest companies in India known throughout the world for its commitment to excellence and to social responsibility, and of the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world’s leading cultural organizations

The collaboration allows for the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra|Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab which shall become an annual event in India, and the Sundance Institute|Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award to be awarded annually at the Sundance Film Festival.

Said Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group, “Our entry into Media and Entertainment is positioned to create a rich resource for Independent Filmmakers and to encourage original storytelling from all parts of the world in line with the Mahindra Group’s global foot print. The first step in this direction is the collaboration with the Sundance Institute which three decades ago heralded a unique nurturing spirit for Independent Cinema in America. Our intention is to nurture as well as hone the talents of an exciting new generation of Indian filmmakers. The guidance and knowhow of Sundance shall be extremely valuable to us in our initiatives.”

Said Robert Redford, President andFounder of Sundance Institute, “The creativity, ingenuity and corporate responsibility of the Mahindra Group is well known the world over. I want to commend Mahindra’s dedication to innovative corporate citizenship and to express my genuine enthusiasm for the work ahead. For Sundance Institute, this initiative represents our commitment to cultural exchange and allows us to extend our support of international filmmakers to a next generation of film artists emerging from India.

“Deepening our international work is a real priority for the Institute, because we believe the community of independent artists truly is global, “said Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute.. “Mahindra shares our commitment to fostering new voices and creativity, and to bring Sundance Institute to India is an especially exciting collaboration in a region long of interest to us.”

Said Rohit Khattar, Director, Mumbai Mantra, “We have been evaluating various initiatives which shall not merely enable the company to revitalize its strategy in media & entertainment, but in keeping with the Group’s values, also help in giving back to the film industry. With the Sundance partnership, we shall be able to recognise, nurture and hone incredible talent in India and across the world. We are at an exciting storytelling stage in the history of the film industry in both India and internationally and are constantly evaluating very interesting scripts. This collaboration and exchange of know-how shall raise the bar further.”

Under the aegis of the ‘Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award’, four visionary filmmakers from around the world will receive a grant, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry meetings, mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and year-round support. This initiative will extend over a three-year period, benefiting 12 awardees. Beginning in 2012, one out of the four directors will be an Indian – a commitment to fulfill Mahindra’s vision to champion a new generation of Indian filmmakers. Recipients of the 2011 Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Film Making Award will be announced January 25.

Scheduled for Spring 2012, the inaugural Mumbai Mantra|Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab will provide an opportunity for six-to-eight filmmakers from India to develop their works under the guidance of accomplished Creative Advisors in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level. Explained Michelle Satter, Director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, “This Screenwriters Lab is a natural extension of our international work in support of emerging artists and independent voice. Over the years, the Feature Film Program has partnered with leading film organizations in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East to create Labs for screenwriters with great success.”

The Mumbai Mantra Sundance Institute Screenwriting Lab March 2012 is inviting applications on as part of its Open Submission Process.

About Sundance Institute

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 introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, Sin Nombre, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.

About Mahindra

Mahindra embarked on its journey in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a US $7.1 billion Indian multinational. It employs over 1,00,000 people across the globe and enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, tractors and information technology, with a significant and growing presence in financial services, tourism, infrastructure development, trade logistics and, recently, the entertainment industry.

Its media and entertainment company, Mumbai Mantra presented last year’s Indian National Award winning Best Feature Film and has recently co-produced The Tempest directed by Julie Taymor and starring Helen Mirren. It is evaluating various opportunities in the media and entertainment space both in Hollywood as well as in India.

The Mahindra Group has a long standing commitment to the arts and humanities. The Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) were created to encourage both emerging and established theatre and celebrated its Fifth Anniversary in 2010. The Group’s encouragement and support to world music will be at its fore at the commencement of the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai (February 2011) – the largest festival of its kind in Asia, showcasing the best international Blues artists and providing a common platform for emerging Indian Blues bands.

Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman & Managing Director Mahindra Group, recently gave an endowment of $10 million to the Humanities Centre at the Harvard University, his alma mater.

Press Contacts:

Ms. Brooks Addicott
Sundance Institute

Steve Wilson
BWR Public Relations

Ms. Roma Balwani
Mahindra & Mahindra Limited


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