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From The Institute
In April when we began to see the impacts of COVID-19, we created a $1 million Sundance Institute Respond and Reimagine Plan. As part of this plan, we would redistribute funds to directly support the urgent needs of artists, as well as organizations from around the world leading the field in support of artists from historically marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Earlier this summer we distributed 60% of the Fund to the artists, including 103 Institute-curated artists participating in spring/summer Sundance Institute Labs (taking place this year on our digital platform, Sundance Co//ab) and via Artist Relief, which offers needs-based granting. Today we are announcing the organizations selected as part of the Fund.
The Institute is providing 39 non-recoupable grants totalling $405,500 to organizations based and working in 19 countries around the world. In a direct response to the current global crisis, our goal is to extend these flexible funds to storytelling organizations and artist collectives that perform an integral role in their communities. The grants may be used to support artists and/or to strengthen the organizations themselves in their ongoing work.
To select these grantees, we solicited nominations from a network of peer arts organizations, funders, and Sundance Institute alumni artists -- a broad cross-section of expertises across media, arts, racial justice, theatre, humanities, philanthropic, social science, and human rights organizations.
The need to support the arts around the world will be ongoing as these organizations weather the continuing challenges of the pandemic. It’s our hope that the Sundance Institute Respond and Reimagine Plan will help support art and artists around the world. Read on to learn about and follow some of these vital organizations, all of which are at the forefront of cultivating bold, visionary storytelling.
The Aadizookaan seeks guidance from ancestral indigenous-based knowledge systems for cultural production & storytelling experiences through traditional, contemporary, & experimental media, music, film, & design. The creative works of ADZKN help produce stories & media solutions, for the many dynamic layers of communities, organizations, businesses, & people.
Ambulante is a non-profit organization founded in 2005, committed to supporting and promoting documentary cinema as a tool for social and cultural transformation across Mexico.
ANAKAA FILMS S.A.S. is a film producer organization member of the Wayuu People's Communications Network "Putchimaajana". Their mission is to promote the cinematographic production carried out by indigenous peoples in all their genres, which contributes to the strengthening of communities and towns through activities such as the WAYUULAB indigenous cinema laboratory, MUCIWA The Wayuu Film and Video Showcase, creation of cinematographic products, production of co-productions, organization of training workshops and festivals for all audiences.
Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc)
A-Doc is created by Asian American documentary filmmakers who have come together as one, multi-generational force to advocate for their vital presence in the field. They are committed to sharing ideas and resources, providing mutual support and mentorship, and advocating for equity and diversity in the production and distribution of non-fiction storytelling.
Asociación de Documentalistas de Puerto Rico
AdocPR's mission is to unite filmmakers in our country to promote Puerto Rican cinema’s growth, emphasizing on documentary films. They aim to become the engine of the development, training, dissemination, and support of the Puerto Rican documentary production through the implementation of innovative strategies, research, new technologies, and participation in the creation of public policy in favor of culture and film making. The Association provides its members with educational opportunities and promotes the use of documentaries as an educational instrument. During the last eight years, they have brought documentaries to communities, schools, and universities as part of our commitment to our society, sharing stories and projects that stimulate critical thinking and social conscience.
The Black TV & Film Collective
The Black TV & Film Collective is an artist-led arts organization with a simple mission: to create career advancing opportunities for Black and Brown artists to achieve their long-term goals within the entertainment industry. They provide critical production support enabling members to build a strong body of work, supplemented by workshops/labs focused on craft development and networking events focused on relationship building.
Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center
Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center (founded as the Association pour la recherche, la production et l’archivage des documents audiovisuels in 2005) is a leading non-profit and non-governmental archive center, committed to reviving the memory of Cambodia and fostering Cambodian culture through arts and multimedia. This memory and culture have been nearly destroyed by three decades of war and genocide. Aiming to reconstruct the memory of Cambodia, under the term “Save and Resuscitate Yesterday’s and Today’s Memories”, Bophana Center collects and safeguards audiovisual archives of Cambodia including films, photos and sound archives from around the world; provides public access to this audiovisual heritage; and trains youths in filmmaking to facilitate freedom and artistic expression and for archiving the country. These efforts will help Cambodians to gradually restore this priceless heritage, and will enable them to understand their past, build their present and invent their future.
Beirut DC stands for development and cinema. They strive to empower filmmakers and audiences from every corner of the Arab world. They believe in the power of film as a driver for social and political change, in access to independent cinema as a right to all communities, across class and culture, in the right of Arab artists to choose their own narratives. Beirut DC creates resources, events, virtual and physical spaces that bring filmmakers, communities and civil society closer, paving the way for radical and transformative collaboration - an unparalleled tool for change.
BlackStar Projects highlights the work of Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers from around the world. The organization produces a myriad of artist-centered programming including the BlackStar Film Festival, an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global communities of color.
Brown Girls Doc Mafia
Brown Girls Doc Mafia's mission is to bolster the creative and professional success of women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary industry, and to challenge the often marginalizing norms of the documentary field. They fight inequality by building community and sharing resources, nourishing creative brilliance, demanding access and visibility in creative and professional environments, enriching the community with the knowledge to sustain themselves financially, and by cutting through oppressive industry structures to advocate for their members.
Center for Asian American Media
The Center for Asian American Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. They do this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media. For 40 years, CAAM has exposed audiences to new voices and communities, advancing our collective understanding of the American experience through programs specifically designed to engage the Asian American community and the public at large.
Corporación Chilena del Documental CCDoc
Corporación Chilena del Documental CCDoc mission is to give wings to the stories and visions of Chilean and Latin American creators so they can fly beyond their borders, to share with the world different ways of portraying realities that need to be discovered; and to connect with each other through the amazement, empathy or reflection. They work to create bridges that can unite these creators and build up networks between them and the industry from other parts of the world. They believe in equal access to information and to opportunities, which is why they work on the decentralization of contents through training programs, releases, screenings, networking and market meetings.
Corporación Cinememoria/EDOC Documentary Film Festival
Cinememoria’s mission is the promotion of documentary filmmaking in Ecuador. Through documentaries, our history and fight for Human Rights and social change can be better understood. Cinememoria’s main project is the International Documentary Film Festival “Encuentros del Otro Cine” which was created in 2002.
COUSIN is a collective supporting Indigenous artists expanding the form of film. They are building an Indigenous-led film movement. They create work that is personal, proudly provocative and driven by strong, artistic voices. They celebrate this work and get it made, seen and shared. Founded in 2018 by Sky Hopinka, Adam Khalil, Alexandra Lazarowich and Adam Piron, COUSIN was created to provide support for Indigenous artists expanding traditional definitions and understandings of the moving image by experimenting with form and genre.
Detroit Narrative Agency
Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA) is a community organization that disrupts harmful narratives about Detroit. They do this by supporting Black, Brown, Indigenous Detroiters to explore and create film and media that build collective healing, power and liberation.
DocA - Documentary Africa
DocA - Documentary Africa is a Pan-African initiative that aims to cultivate and nourish a self-sustaining documentary film ecosystem in the continent. They are focused on empowering African documentary filmmakers to craft, showcase and reclaim their own narratives through a uniquely African lens in order to aggregate diverse continental perspectives that can confront persistent, dominant and inaccurate narratives about the continent. Through both development and production grants to documentary filmmakers and complementary initiatives in: storytelling development and content creation, knowledge-building and sharing, distribution, and audience building; they play an integral role in supporting the African documentary film industry.
Docubox The East African Documentary Film Fund
Docubox exists to enable talented, driven, and focused East African filmmakers, with important and unique stories to tell, to produce high impact independent films that unearth new realities about worlds, identities, and people for audiences in East Africa and around the world.
Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge mission is to create opportunities for people with disabilities in front of and behind the camera and in turn to change the way the world views disability. They give filmmakers—with and without disabilities—the opportunity to collaborate to tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms.
Encounters South African International Documentary Festival
Encounters promotes access to film and television media, and thereby to advance human rights and democracy in South Africa; with particular concern for the needs and aspirations of previously disadvantaged communities, including the provision of development opportunities for township-based groups, and the encouragement of indigenous film-making, and film literacy and training, for aspiring and emergent filmmakers.
Established in 2014, Filmlab: Palestine has set the goal of promoting and reviving cinema culture in Palestine, keeping in mind its vision of a professional, creative, and innovative film industry landscape. Filmlab’s philosophy is to create a new sustainable hub for creative local film production with a program contributing to networking, training, and educating film professionals and talents, realizing diverse, high-quality films in general and content for children. The accumulation of the efforts is gathered in the annual Palestine Cinema Days festival, connecting Palestine with the regional and international professional film industry, promoting Palestinian cinema culture and building an active local cinema audience.
First Peoples Fund
Founded in 1995, First Peoples Fund's mission is to honor and support the Collective Spirit® of First Peoples artists and culture bearers. Collective Spirit® is that which manifests a self-awareness and sense of responsibility to sustain the cultural fabric of a community. Collective Spirit® moves them to stand up and make a difference, to pass on ancestral knowledge and simply extend a hand of generosity. First Peoples Fund recognizes the power of art and culture to bring about positive change in Native communities, beginning with individual artists and their families. They strive to provide support and voice to creative Indigenous artists who share their inspiration, wisdom, knowledge and gifts with their communities.
Frameline's mission is to change the world through the power of queer cinema. As a media arts nonprofit, Frameline's programs connect filmmakers and audiences in the Bay Area and around the world.
HEVA Fund is an East African fund that invests in the transformative social and economic potential of the creative economy sector in the East African region. Since 2013, HEVA has generated and published insights on the creative sector, innovated, prototyped and deployed seven financial instruments in over 40 creative businesses and directly supported over 8,000 creative practitioners in fashion, digital content and television, live music, gaming and other value-chains. HEVA also provides business finance to the creative sector to enable entrepreneurs to increase their production capacity, introduce new product lines, and expand their distribution networks, among other business activities.
Justice for My Sister Collective
Justice for My Sister Collective (JFMS) trains women of color, nonbinary youth, and foster youth to make films with gender equity and racial justice lens, as a means to heal from trauma and overcome financial barriers to entering the TV & film industry.
Latino Filmmakers Network
Latino Filmmakers Network’s mission is to connect, inspire, educate and create opportunities for Latinos while promoting diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry by bridging the gap within the community to unite and present a powerful Latinx voice.
The Leeway Foundation supports women and trans* artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. Through grantmaking and other programs they promote artistic expression that amplifies the voices of those on the margins, promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice.
Māoriland Film Festival
Māoriland presents, facilitates and supports Māori and international Indigenous filmmakers and creatives. Their showcase event is the annual Māoriland Film Festival, the largest international Indigenous Film Festival in the Southern Hemisphere. They exist for the social, economic and educational success of the community in Ōtaki through connection to the wider world of Indigenous creativity and innovation.
Mezcla Media Collective
Mezcla Media Collective provides resources to ensure that women and non-binary filmmakers of color realize their full potential as storytellers and agents of change. They are a hyper-local organization that offers resources for knowledge transfer and career advancement. By creating a founding hub in Chicago, they provide femme-identifying filmmakers of color with resources that enhance their craft and create access to a network, workshops, and a local community without having to depend on established industry hubs. Mezcla also seeks to level the playing field, ensuring that members are able to participate in their city’s bustling media production scene.
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers
For over twenty years, The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) stands as the premier Latinx and diverse media organization, addressing the most underrepresented and largest ethnic minority in the country. NALIP’s mission is to discover, promote and inspire Latinx content creators and diverse voices across all media platforms. NALIP serves the needs of diverse content creators including, producers, performers, writers, directors, and industry professionals.
NewFilmmakers Los Angeles
NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) champions emerging and diverse filmmakers and storytellers from around the world and provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized for their contributions, have open audience discussions about their work and connect with industry professionals for insight on distribution, production and representation. In an effort to showcase, support, educate and build relationships for next-gen filmmakers, NFMLA has rapidly expanded beyond the NFMLA Monthly Film Festival to host an array of workshops, panels, competitions and networking programs, including the InFocus initiative which combats the lack of diversity in media by celebrating underrepresented voices.
Founded and led by Black professionals, Nicho 54 Institute works for the promotion and enhancement of Afro-Brazilians in the film industry through initiatives around training and learning; curatorship and film programming; and a vivid interface with industry players.
Outfest creates visibility to diverse LGBTQIA+ stories and empowers storytellers, building empathy to drive meaningful social change.
Tebere Arts Foundation
“Tebere” is a word in Runkanyore language which means “continue telling your story”. Tebere’s mission is to support the growth of the Ugandan and East African theatre industry by commissioning new work from mid-career and established theatre makers, creating an incubator for students, emerging artists and young people to develop their own work and take artistic risks, and provide a platform where new work can be shared in a festival setting for a wider audience.
Third Horizon is an award-winning filmmaking collective dedicated to developing, producing, exhibiting and distributing film and other art forms that give voice to stories of the Caribbean, its diaspora and other marginalized and underrepresented spaces in the Global South. Its flagship initiative is the annual Third Horizon Film Festival in Miami, which celebrates the exciting new wave of cinema and creativity emerging from the Caribbean and its diaspora.
Visual Communications Media
Visual Communications’ mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. Founded in 1970 with the understanding that media and the arts are powerful forms of storytelling, Visual Communications creates cross cultural connections between peoples and generations.
Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association
Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association was created in 2006, and is dedicated to theatre practice as a social and political involvement, with a belief in theatre as a space for common reflection and in collectivity as a position against marginalizing systems. Zoukak aims to question the political and social status-quo and challenge the various marginalization mechanisms operating on people and communities through producing artistic works, identifying talents and supporting emerging artists and cultural organizations, in addition to transmitting theatre expertise as a creative artistic tool and a mediation technique.
Many of our summer programs, including our labs, are moving onto our digital platform, Sundance Co//ab.
A Note from the Sundance Co//ab Team
We have thought a lot about our programming and really want to keep it going for the many of you who are already planning to participate in our upcoming events.To make it a bit easier for everyone for the next few months, we are going to make all of our member webinars and Master Classes free to attend. We will also be adding a forum for your questions and concerns at this time where we encourage you to support one another, to tell your stories, and to be generous as always with listening and advice. We will soon be adding a focus for any ideas, questions or concerns you want to share with us, where questions will be answered by Sundance Institute staff and artist mentors, advisors, and alumni.
Our team has been thinking deeply about the programming we will roll out this month to help support you. Please check the newsletter where we'll add our special events and features to the top. There will be new programs as we take some of our live programs digital, and also special events dedicated to addressing the impact of the pandemic and the economic slowdown on the creative community.
We are all in this together and will do everything we can to ensure that this community supports you and your work. We look forward to your energy, creativity and brilliance at this time, so please use the forum to let us know what you need.
Founding Director, Feature Film Program
Chief Product Officer, Sundance Co//ab
Sundance Institute labs, intensives, and sessions will take place on our digital platform, Sundance Co//ab
Applications are still open. Learn more about the latest Sundance Institute opportunities as we continue our commitment to offering dynamic programming that supports artists at every step of the creative journey.
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