Sundance Institute Archives

Since 1981, Sundance Institute has supported thousands of independent film and theatre artists with its artist development programs and its annual Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute Archives is dedicated to preserving and facilitating access to the work of these independent film and theatre artists and the material that documents their artistic processes in the creation of this work. Learn more or donate.
We mourn the passing of Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize winning Colombian author, who beautifully led a Creative Writing Workshop for the Institute in 1989.  García Márquez also attended the 1989 Sundance Film Festival for the Dangerous Loves premiere, a program of films based on his stories portraying his glorious obsession with love and death. Gabriel García Márquez was instrumental in Sundance Institute’s extensive work in Latin America which spanned ten years and included partnerships supporting filmmakers throughout the continent. Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives

We mourn the passing of Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize winning Colombian author, who beautifully led a Creative Writing Workshop for the Institute in 1989.  García Márquez also attended the 1989 Sundance Film Festival for the Dangerous Loves premiere, a program of films based on his stories portraying his glorious obsession with love and death. 

Gabriel García Márquez was instrumental in Sundance Institute’s extensive work in Latin America which spanned ten years and included partnerships supporting filmmakers throughout the continent. 

Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives

Jim Jarmusch first attended the Festival nearly 30 years ago, in 1985, winning a Special Jury Prize for Stranger Than Paradise (top, right still).  Jarmusch has returned to the Festival several times since, including in 1992 for Night on Earth (left image).  His newest feature, Only Lovers Left Alive, premiered in competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and screened during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in the Spotlight section.Only Lovers Left Alive opened in LA and NYC on Friday and expands on April 18.Photo/film stills by Sandria Miller (left) and Gordon A. Timpen (bottom, right)

Jim Jarmusch first attended the Festival nearly 30 years ago, in 1985, winning a Special Jury Prize for Stranger Than Paradise (top, right still).  Jarmusch has returned to the Festival several times since, including in 1992 for Night on Earth (left image).  His newest feature, Only Lovers Left Alive, premiered in competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and screened during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in the Spotlight section.

Only Lovers Left Alive opened in LA and NYC on Friday and expands on April 18.

Photo/film stills by Sandria Miller (left) and Gordon A. Timpen (bottom, right)

Sundance Institute recently hosted a pair of day-long ShortsLabs in Philadelphia and Miami.  The Labs focused on narrative short-form storytelling and featured panels, discussions, and screenings with a wide-ranging mix of filmmakers and industry professionals. Take a listen to a podcast of highlights from each event including tips, advice, and anecdotes from a variety of filmmakers, including Madeleine Olnek, Cherien Dabis, Kat Candler, and Sebastian Silva.Film stills (Madeleine Olnek’s 2006 Hold Up, Cherien Dabis’ 2007 Make a Wish, and Kat Candler’s 2013 Black Metal) courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives

Sundance Institute recently hosted a pair of day-long ShortsLabs in Philadelphia and Miami.  The Labs focused on narrative short-form storytelling and featured panels, discussions, and screenings with a wide-ranging mix of filmmakers and industry professionals.

Take a listen to a podcast of highlights from each event including tips, advice, and anecdotes from a variety of filmmakers, including 
Madeleine Olnek, Cherien Dabis, Kat Candler, and Sebastian Silva.

Film stills (
Madeleine Olnek’s 2006 Hold UpCherien Dabis’ 2007 Make a Wish, and Kat Candler’s 2013 Black Metal) courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives

The purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize with other people…For me the movies are like a machine that generates empathy.  — Roger EbertToday marks the one year anniversary of Roger Ebert’s death and RogerEbert.com has posted a variety of pieces that look at his life, legacy, and impact.  Among many of the pieces available, is an interview with director, Steve James, who adapted Ebert’s memoir Life Itself into a documentary of the same title that premiered during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.Celebrate the life and legacy of Roger Ebert through the many contributed pieces here and look out for Life Itself in theatres this summer.Top image:  Roger Ebert on The Illusionist press line during the 2006 Sundance Film Festival (Photo by Clayton Chase/WireImage)Bottom image:  Director Steve James with Chaz Ebert during the 2014 premiere of Life Itself (Photo by Kristin Murphy/WireImage)

The purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize with other people…For me the movies are like a machine that generates empathy.  — Roger Ebert

Today marks the one year anniversary of Roger Ebert’s death and RogerEbert.com has posted a variety of pieces that look at his life, legacy, and impact.  Among many of the pieces available, is an interview with director, Steve James, who adapted Ebert’s memoir Life Itself into a documentary of the same title that premiered during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Celebrate the life and legacy of Roger Ebert through the many contributed pieces here and look out for Life Itself in theatres this summer.

Top image:  Roger Ebert on The Illusionist press line during the 2006 Sundance Film Festival (Photo by Clayton Chase/WireImage)
Bottom image:  Director Steve James with Chaz Ebert during the 2014 premiere of Life Itself (Photo by Kristin Murphy/WireImage)

On Cesar Chavez Day, learn more about the activist’s remarkable life and legacy with Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival documentary, Cesar’s Last Fast.  Find out what inspired director Richard Ray Perez to make the film and why younger generations need to know Chavez’s story here.Using never-before-seen footage of Chavez during his fast and testimony from those closest to him, directors Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee weave together the larger story of his life, vision, and legacy.  Cesar’s Last Fast is a moving and definitive portrait of the leader of a people who became an American icon of struggle and freedom. Cesar’s Last Fast is screening at festivals across the country and opens in NYC and LA at the end of April - learn more here.Production still courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives

On Cesar Chavez Day, learn more about the activist’s remarkable life and legacy with Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival documentary, Cesar’s Last Fast.  Find out what inspired director Richard Ray Perez to make the film and why younger generations need to know Chavez’s story here.

Using never-before-seen footage of Chavez during his fast and testimony from those closest to him, directors Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee weave together the larger story of his life, vision, and legacy.  Cesar’s Last Fast is a moving and definitive portrait of the leader of a people who became an American icon of struggle and freedom. 

Cesar’s Last Fast is screening at festivals across the country and opens in NYC and LA at the end of April - learn more here.

Production still courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives

Even as the options for entertainment and storytelling multiply exponentially, and as technology expands its seemingly infinite offerings, the remarkable singularity of live time “in person” interaction stakes its territory as a cultural touchstone.  On World Theatre Day, let’s celebrate the international theatre community and the borderless reality of our storytelling.Learn more about the Sundance Institute Theatre Program and Why Live Theatre Still Matters here.Sundance Institute East Africa Theatre Lab photos by Philippa Ndisi-Hermann

Even as the options for entertainment and storytelling multiply exponentially, and as technology expands its seemingly infinite offerings, the remarkable singularity of live time “in person” interaction stakes its territory as a cultural touchstone.  On World Theatre Day, let’s celebrate the international theatre community and the borderless reality of our storytelling.

Learn more about the Sundance Institute Theatre Program and
Why Live Theatre Still Matters here.

Sundance Institute East Africa Theatre Lab photos by Philippa Ndisi-Hermann

Sundance Institute just announced the third annual Sundance London program, which continues the focus from previous years on presenting new work by independent filmmakers.  Sundance London includes 21 feature films and 18 shorts across five sections and 24 will make their world, international, European or UK premiere.Check out the full lineup here.Film stills by Joshua James Richards - Afronauts (top image); Jason “Ohdagyo” Fenmore - Under the Electric Sky (middle); and James Clarke - A Trip to Italy (bottom)

Sundance Institute just announced the third annual Sundance London program, which continues the focus from previous years on presenting new work by independent filmmakers.  Sundance London includes 21 feature films and 18 shorts across five sections and 24 will make their world, international, European or UK premiere.

Check out the full lineup here.

Film stills by Joshua James Richards - Afronauts (top image); Jason “Ohdagyo” Fenmore - Under the Electric Sky (middle); and James Clarke - A Trip to Italy (bottom)

Music plays a vital role in shaping the world of a film, yet it is often not considered until very late in the independent filmmaking process.  By advocating for early collaboration between composers, sound designers, and filmmakers, the goal is to approach music as fundamental to the overall creative process.  Sundance Institute’s Film Music Program provides insight into the process and industry through its intensive annual Labs as well as its condensed daylong ComposersLab: LA.Take a peek inside the world of film and television music during two upcoming ComposersLab: LA events.ComposersLab: LA – On Stage (March 30) will provide an intimate behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of Harry Gregson-Williams (the Shrek series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven, Man on Fire, Spy Game), one of the most successful and exciting film composers working today.ComposersLab: LA (April 12) offers a series of informative conversations, presentations, and networking opportunities with renowned composers and industry professionals, including recent Academy Award nominee Thomas Newman and Emmy nominees Jeff Beal, Trevor Morris, and Anton Sanko.Find out more about the Film Music Program and upcoming events here.Photos by Brandon Joseph Baker (from the 2013 Sundance Music and Sound Design Labs at Skywalker Sound)

Music plays a vital role in shaping the world of a film, yet it is often not considered until very late in the independent filmmaking process.  By advocating for early collaboration between composers, sound designers, and filmmakers, the goal is to approach music as fundamental to the overall creative process.  Sundance Institute’s Film Music Program provides insight into the process and industry through its intensive annual Labs as well as its condensed daylong ComposersLab: LA.

Take a peek inside the world of film and television music during two upcoming ComposersLab: LA events.

ComposersLab: LA – On Stage (March 30) will provide an intimate behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of Harry Gregson-Williams (the Shrek series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven, Man on Fire, Spy Game), one of the most successful and exciting film composers working today.

ComposersLab: LA (April 12) offers a series of informative conversations, presentations, and networking opportunities with renowned composers and industry professionals, including recent Academy Award nominee Thomas Newman and Emmy nominees Jeff Beal, Trevor Morris, and Anton Sanko.

Find out more about the Film Music Program and upcoming events here.

Photos by Brandon Joseph Baker (from the 2013 
Sundance Music and Sound Design Labs at Skywalker Sound)

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so it only seems fitting to highlight a few of the many Irish films that have premiered during the Sundance Film Festival.  If you feel inspired, each title is available via iTunes or Netflix.Jim Sheridan’s thematically rich, emotionally textured semi-autobiographical, In America, stars Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton, and premiered during the 2003 Festival. Premiering at the 2007 Festival, John Carney’s Once sports a scrappy, unembellished naturalism - the burdened and brokenhearted Dublin busker and young Czech immigrant’s musical bond is the heart of the film and their love.  John Michael McDonagh’s 2011 debut feature, The Guard, stars Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson and transcends the rules of the buddy cop comedy, wryly offering genuine humor and thrills against an unexpectedly moving portrait of its protagonist.Film stills courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives; The Guard still by Jonathan Hession

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so it only seems fitting to highlight a few of the many Irish films that have premiered during the Sundance Film Festival.  If you feel inspired, each title is available via iTunes or Netflix.

Jim Sheridan’s thematically rich, emotionally textured semi-autobiographical, In America, stars Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton, and premiered during the 2003 Festival. Premiering at the 2007 Festival, John Carney’s Once sports a scrappy, unembellished naturalism - the burdened and brokenhearted Dublin busker and young Czech immigrant’s musical bond is the heart of the film and their love.  John Michael McDonagh’s 2011 debut feature, The Guard, stars Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson and transcends the rules of the buddy cop comedy, wryly offering genuine humor and thrills against an unexpectedly moving portrait of its protagonist.

Film stills courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives; The Guard still by Jonathan Hession

In honor of Pi Day, we’re celebrating all things mathematical, including Darren Aronofsky’s feature film debut Pi, which premiered during the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.An intense, hallucinogenic, and extremely adept exploration into the world of independent science fiction, Pi depicts one man’s quest for absolute knowledge and his obsession to construct a theoretical, numerical order out of chaos in an attempt to decipher a pattern to both the stock market and existence as a whole."Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same.  Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point and as an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.” (piday.org)  Read more about Pi and Pi Day here.Check out Aronofsky’s Pi on Netflix.Film and production stills by Matthew Libatique and Sue Johnson

In honor of Pi Day, we’re celebrating all things mathematical, including Darren Aronofsky’s feature film debut Pi, which premiered during the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.

An intense, hallucinogenic, and extremely adept exploration into the world of independent science fiction, Pi depicts one man’s quest for absolute knowledge and his obsession to construct a theoretical, numerical order out of chaos in an attempt to decipher a pattern to both the stock market and existence as a whole.

"Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same.  Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point and as an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.” (piday.org)  Read more about Pi and Pi Day here.

Check out Aronofsky’s Pi on Netflix.

Film and production stills by Matthew Libatique and Sue Johnson