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Category: Creative Distribution Initiative

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Renegade Support: How I Realized We’re All Producers

I’ve just returned from my first Sundance Institute Creative Producing Summit. It was an intense weekend at the Sundance Resort where producers and independent film executives gathered to discuss the state of the industry and, more importantly, meet the brilliant filmmakers who just participated in Sundance Institute’s signature labs. At the Creative Producing Summit, I discovered a way to translate what I do as director of external affairs into film industry terms.

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The Ogre’s Stomach, Still Growling

Michael Almereyda is a filmmaker and Sundance Institute alum who has participated as a director, screenwriter, and Creative Advisor at various Sundance Labs. He is using Kickstarter to fund his most recent project, The Ogre’s Feathers. Click here to learn more or help fund this film.

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Nina Menkes on Making ‘Dissolution’ and Bringing Her Films to a Wider Audience

I’m not sure, but I think I’m one of very few women on this planet who writes, directs, shoots, and edits her own films. They’re very personal, eccentric, dark, and beautiful features, and all on 35mm (though Dissolution was in fact shot on HD). I was also among the first women to present a feature in the dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival with my 1990 film Queen of Diamonds.

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Kickstart Winter in the Blood

Greetings from Montana! My twin brother Andrew and I have had a wonderful 25-year relationship with Sundance Institute. We’ve gone from being Festival volunteers and Institute interns in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s to being writing and directing Sundance Lab Fellows (in 2008), and finally, to having both our first short film, the keening, and our first feature, The Slaughter Rule, premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. We could not be more excited to have our new project, Winter in the Blood, be featured on this site!We are writing to ask you to become a vital part of our grassroots approach to making a major motion picture—a feature film adaptation of James Welch’s classic (Native) American novel Winter in the Blood.

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Native Filmmaker Julia Brannum on the Story Behind Her Documentary ‘LaDonna Harris: Indian 101’

The power to create change—this single idea has been at the forefront of every great movement in American history, and my documentary, LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 showcases this power in the life and work of Native rights leader LaDonna Harris. LaDonna has paved the way for American Indian civil rights and is now passing on her wisdom to a new generation of Indigenous leaders from all over the world.After marrying her high school sweetheart, U.

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Jay Duplass on Making ‘Kevin​,’ a Documentary About the Mysterious Austin Musician Kevin Gant

Jay Duplass attended the 2010 Sundance Film Festival with his feature Cyrus and participated as a panelist at last year’s ShortsLab: LA. Along with his brother Mark, he has previously screened features Baghead and The Puffy Chair at the Festival.
A few years ago, I was looking for inspiration, my college hero, Kevin Gant, came to mind, as he has again and again over the past 20 years.

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Kick It: Cinematographer Sees the Light with Crowdfunding

Zak Mulligan is a NYC and LA-based cinematographer, perhaps best known for his Sundance Film Festival Excellence in Cinematography-winning feature film Obselidia, directed by Diane Bell. Celebrated playwright Harold Blumenthal has died while laughing at his own joke.
This is the spark that starts the film Passing Harold Blumenthal as explained to me by it’s writer/director Seth Fisher.

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Kick It: Sundance Doc Granito Launches Campaign on Kickstarter.com

Earlier this year, Sundance Institute announced an unique program to connect our alumni artists with emerging opportunities in creative funding using the new technology of Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a community tool to fund and follow creativity that allows users all over the world to discover and support projects that spark their enthusiasm and interest.  Small donations are made to the project in exchange for tangible rewards from the artists, while they retain full creative control of their work.

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Finding Your Audience: An Independent Filmmaker’s Roadmap

From building a fan base for your project with Facebook to securing funding through a Kickstarter campaign, filmmakers are faced with a greater number and variety of promotional opportunities than ever before. As the landscape continues to morph at a break-neck pace, what’s an artist to do?To give Festival filmmakers and Sundance Institute artist alumni a road map, the Institute hosted immersive workshops on Monday, January 24 in Park City during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Facebook’s Charles Porch and Erin Kanaley provided insider tips for creating and maintaining a Facebook presence that most effectively engages an audience around a film as it progresses from pre-production to distribution and beyond.

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