By Monteque Pope-Le Beau
Edited by Colleen Page
As everyone walked in to get ready for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival press conference there was a sense that there was a change in the air. The festival program for the Sundance Film Festival was not only cutting edge this year, but one that spoke to a vast array of issues concerning what has been happening in the past year. The picture of this year’s lineup was full of risk takers, seekers of truth, bold and unique voices. This would be the start of a new path for the Sundance film Festival. The Sundance film Festival has always been a trailblazer when it came to diversity and independent voices. The spirit of Sundance came directly from its founder Robert Redford. Which for 34 years has spend the face and the driving force behind Sundance Film Festival.
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival press conference started with a shocking revelation for some of the beginning of a new era as Mr. Robert Redford came onto the Egyptian theater stage alone and stated with grace and elegance,
“Having done this for God, 34 years now, since the festival started, I think we are at a point where I can move on to a different place. The thing I’ve missed is being able to spend time with the films. I’ve been spending a lot of tine introducing things, but I don’t think that the festival needs a lot of introduction any more, it runs on its own course, and I’m happy for that, so let me just say I am grateful that you’re here.”
With that Mr. Robert Redford honored the Sundance film Festival volunteers and then he introduced Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam. With the gentle smile he turned and left the stage. Ms. Keri Putnam talk of this year’s film Festival being one that is about diversity and inclusion. The festival programmers selected a total of 241 projects from 49 countries, including 112 feature films and 73 shorts for this years selection.
“We see Sundance as a public square for independent voices.We recognize that this sort of public square is in short supply right now.” Ms. Keri Putnam also emphasized with clarity “That there is often a perception that the festival is a for profit business, or separate from what the institute does, which is supporting artists all year long. Sundance is a home for independent artist around the world to gather to form a connected, creative community. Sundance is a non-profit organization.” From the beginning The Sundance Film Festival along with the Sundance Institute have been a nonprofit organization that specializes in supporting artist and independent film. Intertwined to showcase those very uniquely dynamic independent voices.
Then 2019 Sundance Film Festival day press conference kicked off Thursday with help of Sundance’s new Director of Programming Kim Yutani, New Frontier Chief Curator Shari Frilot, Women at Sundance and Catalyst director Caroline Libresco and senior programmers John Nein, David Courier and including Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper spoke of the festival’s diverse lineup.
It is very certain that this is going to be a very interesting and embolden Sundance Film Festival with all of us here to witness the first steps of the new era of the 2019 Sundance film Festival.
The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Eighth Grade, Get Out, The Big Sick , Mudbound, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth , Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs and sex, lies, and videotape. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2019 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire, YouTube; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, Amazon Studios, AT&T, DIRECTV, Dropbox, Netflix, Omnicom, Stella Artois; Sustaining Sponsors – Canada Goose, Canon, Dell, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, High West Distillery, IMDbPro, Lyft, RIMOWA, Unity Technologies, University of Utah Health; Media Sponsors – The Atlantic, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, VARIETY, The Wall Street Journal. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Partner seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Eighth Grade, Blindspotting, The Tale, Get Out, The Big Sick, Strong Island, Blackfish, Top of the Lake, Winter’s Bone, The Wolfpack, Dear White People, Trapped, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild , Fruitvale Station, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.