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Category: Program Spotlight

Catalyst Women: Putting Our Money on Women Filmmakers

This May in New York City, Sundance Institute and The Harnisch Foundation launched Catalyst Women, a new program connecting film financiers dedicated to women artists with highly anticipated Sundance Institute–supported feature and documentary projects. The day-and-a-half program, which took us from HBO headquarters in Bryant Park to Bloomberg Philanthropies on the upper east side, exposed creative investors to the world of independent storytelling through film presentations, case studies, panels, deep-dive roundtables, and artist spotlights.
We began the day by delving into the moral and economic incentives that drive financiers to invest in diverse and female filmmakers, inspiring us to do the same.

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From Sundance to Cannes: 5 Feature Film Program-Supported Projects Make Their Premieres

The just completed 70th Cannes International Film Festival also marked the premiere of five Feature Film Program-supported films. Paul Federbush, our International Director and Anne Lai, our Director of Creative Producing and Artist Support were both there to attend the premieres, host an Alumni Reception and experience this annual celebration of film through screenings and industry meetings. Although I didn’t attend, I read all the reviews of our films while taking great pride in the filmmakers and the visions that they brought to life and shared for the first time with worldwide audiences.

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Sundance in India: “Local Stories Are Universal Stories”

Over the past five years, Sundance Institute’s sustained focus on Indian cinema has provided support for some of the most notable independent films from India in recent years, including Prashant Nair’s Umrika, which won the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival; Shonali Bose’s Margarita With A Straw, winner of the NETPAC Award at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival; and Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan, which made its world premiere in Un Certain Regard at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the Avenir Prize. After five editions of its Screenwriters Labs in India supporting nearly 40 fellows and their projects, Sundance Institute will spend the coming year evaluating its program to make sure it continues to respond to the challenges facing the country’s independent filmmakers.
The Institute was first inspired to create a dedicated Screenwriters Lab in India after selecting Ritesh Batra for the 2009 Screenwriters and Directors Labs.

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‘Bending the Arc’ Screens at the Skoll World Forum

Bending the Arc, a Stories of Change supported film that revisits a group of health advocates’ unprecedented mission to make quality healthcare available to everyone, screened in Oxford to an audience of 500 as part of the Skoll World Forum. Tabitha Jackson led a post-film discussion with subjects Jim Yong Kim, Dr. Paul Farmer, Professor Agnes Binagwaho, Cori Shepherd Stern and Melquiades Huauya Oré.

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9 Indigenous-Made Films to Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival

Want to see the list of films by Indigenous directors that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival? Check this blog post.Rooted in the recognition of the rich storytelling cultures and inherent sovereignty of Native American nations, Sundance Institute has held a commitment to Native artists since its founding. Mandated by our Founder Robert Redford, the Institute has nurtured and supported Native filmmakers going back to a time when almost none existed.

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2016 Theatre Program Highlights

Dear Friends,When I arrived at Sundance Institute in 1996, I was surprised that many American artists seemed woefully disconnected from theatre-making outside our country’s borders. I set out to change that. After all, if we artists do not model a borderless life, who will? I knew I had to shift our lens, our perspective.

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Filmmaker Jerry Rothwell on Imagining a Better World—and How to Build It

We take the color white for granted—the brilliant white of Styrofoam cups, sunscreen, skimmed milk, and the lines on tennis courts. To produce it, manufacturers use titanium dioxide as a pigment, found in its most common natural form in a mineral called rutile. Around a third of the world’s rutile is in Sierra Leone, which sits on 259 million metric tons of the stuff (currently valued at around $1000 per ton).

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​The Worldwide Movement Toward Gender Parity in Media

A worldwide movement towards gender parity in film is gaining momentum. Not only have at least 15 new digital platforms, production companies, artist collectives, and committees devoted solely to women-driven content cropped up in the last year, but a host of television showrunners and directors have committed to diversifying their teams. Ava DuVernay staffed all women directors on her OWN drama Queen Sugar, and Melissa Rosenberg did the same for Marvel’s second season of Jessica Jones.

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