Sundance Institute Announces FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue Travels For First Time to Taipei, Taoyuan and Hualien, Taiwan, May 22-26

Sundance Institute and U.S. Federal Cultural Agencies Collaborate with The American Institute in Taiwan, CNEX Foundation Limited to Host Free Screenings, and Discussions and Roundtables

Posted May 21, 2013

Share on Tumblr

Filmmakers Jeff Orlowski, Chasing Ice
Patricia Riggen, Under The Same Moon (La Misma Luna) to participate

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities announced today that FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue will host free screenings of seven films, panel discussions and artist roundtables in Taiwan for the first time, May 22-26. Filmmakers Jeff Orlowski and Patricia Riggen will participate in the program. Sundance Channel Global is a supporter of the FILM FORWARD program in Taiwan which is hosted by the American Institute in Taiwan and CNEX Foundation. For a full schedule of events visit www.sundance.org/filmforward.

FILM FORWARD, a partnership of Sundance Institute and U.S. federal cultural agencies, is a touring program that offers film screenings, workshops and discussions designed to foster dialogue and cross-cultural understanding. It uses the power of cinema to promote broader understanding, inspire curiosity and enhance awareness of shared stories and values across generations, language, education and borders. The partnering federal agencies are the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“Film inspires imagination, encourages civic engagement and underscores the rich diversity of human experience,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. “We are honored to present FILM FORWARD in Taiwan and to offer audiences in the region an opportunity  to discuss universal themes that touch us all.”

"La Misma Luna explores the challenges many people face around the world when economic hardships force families to live apart," said filmmaker Patricia Riggen.  "The film gives audiences the chance to ask themselves what the concept of ‘home’ means and how that changes as they grow. I am excited to meet audiences in Taiwan through the FILM FORWARD program and start a global dialogue.”

“Through the power of film, Chasing Ice is showing audiences captivating and unforgettable images of the world’s melting glaciers that they may never see firsthand,” said Director Jeff Orlowski. “Screening the film in Taiwan will mean reaching new audiences and engaging in dialogue on a global level. Ultimately I hope people leave feeling inspired.”

FILM FORWARD’s primary audience is communities without ready access to independent films, students and the local filmmaking community in each region. Common themes explored in the films include issues surrounding family, friendship and community, as well as the intersection of tradition and modern culture.

Sundance Institute staff members traveling with the program are: FILM FORWARD Consultant Jill Miller and FILM FORWARD Manager Jacqueline Carlson.

FILM FORWARD Films:

 
Bones Brigade: An Autobiography (Director: Stacy Peralta) — A gang of disenfranchised kids reject mainstream culture, channel their controlled desperation into a loser activity and redefine winning in the process. Mentored by a former world champion skateboarder, the "Bones Brigade" became history's most influential skateboarding team. Their countercultural impact continues to affect change with best selling video games and books and millions of kids who embrace skateboarding around the world.
 

Chasing Ice (Director: Jeff Orlowski) — Acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change.  But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet.  Chasing Ice reveals Balog's hauntingly beautiful, multi-year time-lapse videos of vanishing glaciers across the Arctic, all while delivering fragile hope to our carbon-powered planet.
 
La Misma Luna (Under The Same Moon) (Director: Patricia Riggen) — Even across thousands of miles, the special bond between a mother and son can never be broken. It gives hope to Carlitos, a scrappy nine-year-old boy whose mother, Rosario, has gone to America to build a better life for both of them. While Rosario struggles for a brighter future, fate forces Carlitos’ hand and he embarks on an extraordinary journey to find her.
 

The Light in Her Eyes  (Directors: Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix) — Houda al-Habash, a conservative woman preacher in Damascus, Syria, calls girls to the practice of Islam, teaching them that pursuing their ambitions is a way of worshipping God.  Shot right before the uprising in Syria erupted, The Light in Her Eyes offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their dreams.

 
The Loving Story (Director: Nancy Buirski) — A  racially-charged criminal trial and a heart-rending love story converge in this documentary about Mildred and Richard Loving, a part-black, part-Indian woman married to a white man in Jim Crow-era Virginia. Thrown into rat-infested jails and exiled from their hometown for 25 years, the Lovings fought back and changed history.
 
Town of Runners (Director: Jerry Rothwell) — Town of Runners is a feature documentary about young people from the Ethiopian rural town of Bekoji, whose runners have won 10 Olympic Gold medals in the last 20 years. The film tells the story of three teenagers who want to follow in their heroes’ footsteps, as they move from school track to national competition and from childhood to adulthood, trying to run their way to a different life.
 
Valley of Saints (Director and screenwriter: Musa Syeed) Using Kashmir’s picturesque Dal Lake as its backdrop and underpinned by the political unrest in the region, this moving drama explores the relationship between two best friends and the female researcher studying environmental degradation who threatens to distract them from their dreams of escape.

Federal Partners
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) bridges the interests of American federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation and excellence in the arts and humanities, and helps incorporate these disciplines into White House objectives. First Lady Michelle Obama is the Honorary Chairman of the PCAH.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency, provides support for documentary films, digital media and other educational programs in the humanities through competitive grant programs. The NEH is the nation’s leading supporter of research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.  

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov and follow @US_IMLS on Twitter and on Facebook.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

About Sundance Channel Global
Dedicated to founder Robert Redford's mission to celebrate creativity, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, imaginative and uncompromising, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of high-quality independent films, documentaries and original programs. In addition to being widely distributed throughout North America, Sundance Channel is available throughout Europe and Asia. Owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., Sundance Channel is a highly recognizable and magnetic brand that is available in HD and across multiple platforms.

Sundance Channel can be seen in Taiwan in HD on Chunghwa’s MOD service (channel 70), Dish HD (channel 330), CNS (channel 323) and Vee Time’s Vee TV (channel 208). For more information, please visit www.sundancechannelglobal.tw.

About the American Institute in Taiwan
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is a non-profit, private corporation established shortly after the United States Government changed its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing on January 1, 1979. AIT is charged with carrying out the "commercial, cultural and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan." The Department of State, through a contract with the Institute, provides a large part of AIT's funding and guidance in its operations.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Sarah Eaton
Sundance Institute
+1 310.360.1981
Sarah_Eaton@sundance.org

Elizabeth Latenser
Sundance Institute
+1 435.658.3456
Elizabeth_Latenser@sundance.org

Film stills and director headshots available upon request. Email press@sundance.org.

Download Press Release

Download in Mandarin (官话)