Category: Program Spotlight

Skoll World Forum: Where Filmmaking Meets Changemaking

On a morning walk from our hotel to the University of Oxford’s Said Business School, you can take a scenic path along the river where a number of rowing teams cut through the water as they train. The primary sport for the pedestrian is to avoid being hit by coaches peddling bikes on the same narrow dirt path, observing and occasionally shouting out words of instruction to their crew in the water. It’s a particularly apt illustration of collaboration and teamwork – the idea of encouraging someone to be just a little bit better, a little bit stronger.

Read More »

5 Indigenous Filmmakers with Ties to Sundance Institute

Want to see a list of projects helmed by Indigenous filmmakers at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival? Click here.
Throughout the 22 years of the Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Film Program’s formal existence, we have supported more than 300 Native and Indigenous filmmakers at various stages of their projects. The cycle of our work begins by scouting for and identifying Native American and Indigenous artists, bringing them through the Institute to get their work made and shown, and then bringing the filmmakers and their work back to native lands.

Read More »

​So You Want to Be a Film Composer? A Day at Sundance Institute’s Film Music Master Class

Last weekend, Sundance Instite’s Film Music Program, in collaboration with the University of Miami Frost School of Music, presented a free daylong master class for composers, filmmakers, students, and other industry professionals. The program offered access to some of the top creators working in film and television, and was hosted by composer and Film Music Program director Peter Golub. As an opener, Golub discusses Sundance Institute’s recent programs in Miami, the Knight Foundation’s support of the day’s event, and divulges some best practices for submitting your artist application to the Institute.

Read More »

6 Indigenous Filmmakers Set to Premiere Their Films at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

Ed. note: Want to see the full list of films by Indigenous directors that made their premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival? Click here.
Sundance Institute’s commitment to supporting Native artists is woven throughout the organization’s history, as the Indigenous Program has built and sustained an Indigenous film circle throughout the 22 years of its formal existence within the Institute.

Read More »

Feminist Films at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

A curated list of films at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival by and about women.
PremieresAnges Dei / France, PolandIt’s December 1945, and the Second World War is finally over. Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor, finds herself in Warsaw treating the last of the French soldiers returning from the front.

Read More »

Sundance Returns to Havana: A Brief History of the Institute’s Work in Cuba

As I arrived at the Hotel Nacional, 16 years since I was last in Cuba, I was immediately swept up by the majesty of an historic hotel that has been such an important destination for travelers to Havana over many decades. My colleague Paul Federbush, who has been leading the Institute’s work in Cuba, was there to greet us, and we were off and running.
We would spend the week presenting a suite of programs in screenwriting, producing, film music and documentary editing, in a new partnership with the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema and La Escuela Internacional De Cine Y TV.

Read More »

Throw Yourself Off Balance: Tips from Joan Tewkesbury on Building Characters in Your Screenplay

The morning of the Sundance Institute Detroit Screenwriters Intensive, 13 writers, including myself, gathered at the University of Michigan’s Detroit outreach office.

We came with anticipation, nervousness, and curiosity as to how the day’s events would unfold. As we nervously nibbled at the breakfast buffet and shyly introduced ourselves over coffee the same thought undoubtedly ran through many of our minds: How did I get here?

I never imagined I would ever attend a Sundance workshop, much less one held in Detroit.

Read More »

From a Tree Stand to Sundance: How ‘Christmas, Again’ Is Thinking Creatively About Distribution

From day one, there wasn’t much about the making of Christmas, Again that you could describe as “traditional.” So when it came to releasing the film, it only felt natural to explore the less “traditional” routes. I use “traditional” in quotes because in 2015 I can safely say that nontraditional strategies are the new norm, if not the only viable option for any film, big or small (we’ve seen quite a few high-profile, big-budget “traditional” releases tank this year).

Read More »

Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program Announces Projects Selected for 2015 Support

Thirty-three independent documentary films have been selected for Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program support in 2015, with grantees including original voices from around the world.

The Sundance Documentary Fund moved to a limited rolling open call in 2015, encouraging filmmakers to submit applications only when they feel their film is ready to share. Rahdi Taylor, Film Fund Director, said, “This past year was one of experimentation and change.

Read More »

Calling All Producers: 5 Reasons to Apply to the Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship

We’re thrilled to announce our call for submissions for the 2016 Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship. This marks the beginning of our eighth year of the program, which has supported 47 producers, 41 films (17 completed), and many awards spread among them. Although stats can be helpful markers of success, we want to recognize how our Labs can serve as incubators for the artist eager to learn, grow their career, and be part of a community.

Read More »

How a Convening in Utah Can Spark Ecological Change 8,000 Miles Away

Three-and-a-half days in the mountains of Utah exploring big ideas with documentary filmmakers and change-makers I deeply respect. What could be better?
I was there as a Storytelling Fellow at the Sundance Institute | Skoll Foundation Stories of Change Convening, a three-day immersive storytelling workshop focused on introducing Skoll Foundation-Awarded Social Entrepreneurs (SASEs) to effective storytelling strategies. This was my introduction to the program, but I soon realized this moment was giving shape and definition to something I have been engaged with since my first film.

Read More »