Widely considered the premier showcase of U.S. and international independent film, the Sundance Film Festival has its origins in the Utah/U.S. Film Festival which began in 1978.
The Festival originally focused primarily on the presentation of retrospective films and filmmaker seminars. However, it also featured a national competition aimed at drawing attention to emerging American films made outside the Hollywood system.
In 1981, the Festival moved to Park City, Utah, and grew to include documentaries and short films along with its program of dramatic features.
In 1985, the Film Festival added international films to its programs and became a part of Sundance Institute, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1981 by Robert Redford to cultivate new work in film and theatre.
The move provided the Festival with year-round administration, financial backing, and a network of contacts, and Sundance Institute gained a powerful vehicle for the presentation of new work by U.S. and international independent filmmakers. In 1991, the Festival was officially renamed Sundance Film Festival.
Since 1991 Sundance Film Festival has provided a showcase for short filmmakers and their films. Fueled by artistic expression and free from the conventions of feature-length films, shorts have the ability to transcend boundaries of traditional storytelling.
Over the years, the Sundance Film Festival Shorts Program has become a prime source of discovering filmmaking's newest voices, including Todd Haynes, Spike Jones, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, David O'Russell, Tamara Jenkins, Nicole Holofcener and Alexander Payne.
Sundance Film Festival
Presenting 125 dramatic and documentary feature-length films in nine distinct categories and over 70 short films each year, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most innovative films of the past two decades. The official website of the Sundance Film Festival, http://www.sundance.org/ shares the Festival experience beyond the streets of Park City with a global audience through the streaming of short films, filmmaker interviews, and current news and box office information.
Dedicated year-round to the development of artists of independent vision and to the exhibition of their new work, Sundance Institute celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2006.
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for thousands of independent artists through its Film Festival and artistic development programs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, playwrights and theatre artists. The original values of independence, creative risk-taking, and discovery continue to define and guide the work of Sundance Institute, both with U.S. artists and, increasingly, with artists from other regions of the world.
Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, uncompromising and irreverent, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries, and original programs, all uncut and commercial free.
Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a venture of NBC Universal, Showtime Networks Inc and Robert Redford. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression.
Sundance Channel's website: http://www.sundancechannel.com/
Sundance Film Festival Web site: http://www.sundance.org/