Keri Putnam on Sundance 2021 Going Virtual – Leslie Combemale interviews

This January, our AWFJ Spotlight is on Sundance Institute Executive Director, Keri Putnam. As part of our focus on Putnam, we spoke to her about her life and career, and how she and Sundance Film Festival’s new Director Tabitha Jackson built the 2021 virtual festival to not only represent the best in film and make room for diverse voices, but also to allow people from all corners of the globe who’ve always wanted to attend one of the world’s most influential film festivals to finally do so, and from the safety of their own homes.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Sundance Film Festival Hits 50-50 – Brandy McDonnell reports

The 2021 Sundance slate includes 71 feature-length films, representing 29 countries and 38 first-time feature filmmakers. The films were selected from 14,092 submissions, including 3,500 feature-length films. Of the feature film submissions, 1,377 were from the U.S. and 2,132 were international. 50% of the 10 directors in this year’s U.S. Dramatic Competition identify as women, while 40% identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color). In addition, 64% of the 11 directors in this year’s U.S. Documentary Competition identify as women, while 73% identify as BIPOC and 9% as LGBTQ+.

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SPOTLIGHT January 2021: Keri Putnam, Sundance Executive Director and Activist

With consistent commitment, creativity and compassion, Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam opens opportunities for diverse voices in moviemaking. She has built industry-wide alliances that advocate and enact change. Numbers don’t lie. The Sundance fest 2021 program boasts 50% female filmmakers. Sundance grants fund films that Hollywood would deny. When, at some point in the future, we all see ourselves represented onscreen and in the credits, we can thank Keri Putnam Putnam for moving the needle forward to make it happen.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Tabitha Jackson is new Sundance Film Festival Director — Brancy McDonnell reports

The Sundance Film Festival has named Tabitha Jackson its new festival director. Jackson, who was previously the Sundance Institute’s documentary program director, was announced as the prestigious American film festival’s new leader during its awards ceremony. She is the first woman, the first person of color and the first Brit to lead the annual independent film festival.

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Sundance Film Fest 2020: A female film critic and first-timer’s perspective – Leslie Combemale reports

I know many people say it’s become too commercialized, but I can still feel the joy and enthusiasm of the filmmakers, whether it’s their first or the tenth time with a film in competition. At its heart, Sundance is still about giving voice to new talent, or giving a new opportunity to a talent that has been dormant too long, due to financial or creative challenges.

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