Film Festival Today

Founded by Jeremy Taylor


Written by: FFT Webmaster | January 31st, 2011

*Three-Year Plan with Kickstarter as Creative Funding Collaborator*
*Facebook® to Provide Guidance to Institute Alumni*

PARK CITY, UT –Sundance Institute today announced a new program to connect its artists with audiences by offering access to top-tier creative funding and marketing backed by the Institute’s promotional support. These essential services will act as building blocks for future
program components which aim to provide filmmakers access to a broad and open array of third-party digital distribution platforms. Adding to the
nonprofit Institute’s acclaimed programs for Screenwriters, Directors,
Film Composers, Producers and Theatre artists around the world, the new
services were developed based on research and input from filmmakers,
industry advisors, its Technology Committee and its Board of Directors,
including President Robert Redford. The creative funding component was
announced today with Kickstarter, the largest platform in the world for
funding creative projects.

A new way to fund and follow creative projects, tens of thousands of
people pledge millions of dollars to projects on Kickstarter every
month. In exchange for support, backers receive tangible rewards crafted
and fulfilled by the project’s creator. Support is neither investment,
charity, nor lending, but rather a mix of commerce and patronage that
allows artists to retain 100% ownership and creative control of their
work while building a supportive community as they develop their projects.
“Technology now allows filmmakers to fund and make films in ways we
could never have even conceived. Just as we did 30 years ago, the
Institute is responding to a need, with a responsibility to help the
individual artist,” Redford said.

“Today’s media landscape presents opportunities for audiences and
artists to connect in new and exciting ways. This program is a natural
and much-needed extension of our mission,” said Keri Putnam, Executive
Director, Sundance Institute. “With unparalleled recognition worldwide,
Sundance Institute is in the unique position as a nonprofit to bring
together a wide range of services and lend invaluable promotional support.”

Creative Funding Support
Kickstarter has agreed to provide branding, educational, and promotional
support to Sundance Institute alumni. More than 350,000 people have
pledged over $30 million dollars to projects on Kickstarter since its
launch in spring 2009.

To launch the collaboration, the first alumni workshops took place at
the Sundance Film Festival this week, conducted by Kickstarter
co-founder Yancey Strickler and attended by a range of artists from
first time filmmakers to seasoned veterans. Beginning this spring, the
Institute will curate alumni projects at and drive
alumni and fans to support projects in various stages of funding. In
addition, will showcase projects and interviews with
artists on a monthly basis for even further reach.

“We’re excited to be working with the Sundance Institute and its
esteemed community,” said Kickstarter cofounder, Yancey Strickler.
“Kickstarter has been an effective tool for artists of all stripes, and
we’re looking forward to the projects that this collaboration will bring
to life.”

Education and Resources
In the coming months, Sundance Institute will build an online hub of
resources related to independent distribution options, funding
strategies and other key issues. The goal is to provide for filmmakers a
central location to explore  case studies and best practices, in
addition to live workshops and training opportunities with Institute
staff, alumni, industry experts and key partners.

As the first of these partners bringing their expertise to the
community, Facebook will offer Institute alumni advice, educational
materials, and best-practices tips on how to build and engage audiences
via the service. Earlier this week at the Sundance Film Festival,
Facebook led the first in a series of hands-on workshops for Institute
alumni. During these workshops, artists received unique training on free
tools and apps for social engagement, education in the types of pages
and profiles they can utilize, and insight into Facebook’s advertising
opportunities.  Artists needing more direct assistance were able to
share Pages while Facebook staff assisted them in making improvements
and changing settings.  Facebook and Sundance Institute have had a
relationship for years and last year provided Page assistance for films
/Waiting for Superman/ <>,
/A Small Act/ <>
and /Restrepo/ <>
among 20 others.

All Sundance Institute artists from Sundance Film Festival, Labs and
Grantees, will be the first to gain access to the programs. Further
development will include access to a broad and open array of third-party
digital distribution platforms backed by Sundance Institute promotional
support. In the future, additional opportunities for theatrical
exhibition will be explored in collaboration with organizations such as
Sundance Cinemas, members of the national Art House Project, and others.
To execute the program, Sundance Institute has hired Christopher Horton
as Associate Director of Filmmaker Services. Horton, who will relocate
to Los Angeles after nearly a decade with Cinetic Media, will work
closely with Joseph Beyer, Director of Digital Initiatives, Katie
Kennedy, Associate Director of Development, Corporate along with the
Institute’s Program Directors.

Legal Services for Sundance Institute have been graciously donated by
O’Melveny; Myers LLP, headed by a team including Paul Iannicelli and
Chris Brearton.

Kickstarter is the largest platform for funding creative projects in the
world. Every month on Kickstarter, tens of thousands of people pledge
millions of dollars and help bring creative projects from the worlds of
music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishingand other creative
fields to life. The Kickstarter community features projects by Oscar
winners, Grammy winners, TED Fellows, /New York Times/ best-sellers, Pulitzer Prize finalists, and thousands of others. Kickstarter is open
to creative projects big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional
and avant-garde.

Sundance Institute
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert
Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for
directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the
Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre
artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce
audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent
storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around
the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film
Festival, 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.
Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

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