The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
2014 New Frontier Flash Lab, Miami. Photo by Michael Toledo.
Nate von Zumwalt is editorial manager for Sundance Institute.
Discovering and supporting independent artists is what Sundance Institute is all about. We believe that providing an inclusive space for artists to create and thrive encourages diverse stories and greater understanding. In 2013, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation joined us in support of this goal by helping Sundance Institute reach into two new communities, Philadelphia and Miami, in search of new voices, new perspectives, and new stories to be told.
Now Knight Foundation is expanding its support with a new $1 million investment. The Knight Fellows Project will provide filmmakers and related artists in eight U.S. cities with local programs modeled on the Institute’s renowned residential Labs and successful one-day workshops for emerging filmmakers.
Over the next three years, storytellers from Akron, Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Miami, Philadelphia, San Jose, and St. Paul will have access to creative and tactical training from esteemed Sundance Alumni and Advisors. Programs will include ShortsLabs, New Frontier Flash Labs and Screenwriters Intensives, as well as immersive workshops on documentary storytelling, film music, and creative marketing and distribution.
As Knight Foundation's Arts VP Dennis Scholl said, “Over the last few years, independent filmmakers in these communities have begun to use film to tell unique and compelling stories about their cities that resound with audiences around the globe. By bringing Sundance Institute to these eight cities, we hope that emerging filmmakers will have access to the training necessary to launch their films and, eventually, a wider audience.”
In addition, four artists from these cities will be invited to attend the Sundance Film Festival as Knight Fellows. Together with the 2014 Knight Fellows -- Jos Duncan, Monica Peña, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, and Heidi Saman -- these talented storytellers will join the dynamic community of independent artists and audiences that we are so proud to serve – across the United States and around the world.
An ArtistServices workshop on Saturday, Oct. 25, at O Cinema in Miami, will be the first event of the series. Industry experts will lead discussions on the latest technology, tools and tactics in creative financing, digital distribution, guerilla marketing and independent theatrical distribution. Participation is free and RSVP required at sundance.org/artistservices. Workshops will take place in the other communities beginning in 2015. Below is a preliminary schedule.
ShortsLab Miami March
ShortsLab St. Paul April
Screenwriters/Directors Intensive: Miami April/May
New Frontier Flash Lab: Detroit June
Documentary Workshop: St. Paul Summer
Artist Services Workshop: Philadelphia Fall
Screenwriters/Directors Intensive: Detroit October
ShortsLab Charlotte March
ShortsLab Akron April
ComposersLab: Miami April/May
Shorts Program Macon May
New Frontier Flash Lab: San Jose July
Native Program Workshop: St. Paul August
Documentary Workshop: Philadelphia September/October
Artist Services Workshop: St. Paul Spring
ShortsLab San Jose March
ShortsLab Philadelphia April
Screenwriters/Directors Intensive: Charlotte April/May
ComposersLab: Detroit or Philadelphia April/May
ShortsLab Detroit May
New Frontier Flash Lab: Philadelphia July