Nate von Zumwalt
Over the next few months we’ll be chronicling memorable moments in Festival history as we reveal the mystery behind the 2011 snowflake icon. While the snowflake itself shares an obvious relationship with each winter’s Festival, the symbols within the icon tell the individual stories that have made the Festival what is today. Citing Festival Director John Cooper, the snowflake’s uniqueness and transient existence reflect the 10 days of joy that the Festival and its films provide us. Keep your eyes peeled for weekly blog posts decoding the snowflake!
The white cowboy hat.
It’s a nod to our very own “man in the white hat,” Robert Redford, who founded Sundance Institute in 1981, and in 1984 adopted the Festival as an integral part of the nonprofit organization. Its name pays homage to Redford’s brilliant role in the Oscar-winning classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), opposite Paul Newman. Since the Sundance Kid’s first gathering in Utah nearly three decades ago, the Festival has helped to make Utah an epicenter of independent film and a hotbed of innovation. During the other 11 months of the year, Sundance Institute sponsors artist development programs both in Utah through the summer creative Labs and across the globe. From the Middle Eastern Screenwriters Lab in Jordan to the Theatre Program’s East Africa Initiative, the Institute remains dedicated to Redford’s vision to foster independent artists.