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New Kid on the Sundance Block
by Karen Pecota

Redford introduced to the press one of his hopefuls to take the Sundance venture forward. The newest member on the Sundance Institute leadership team is Keri Putnam and she holds the title of the Executive Director of the Sundance Institute.

Familiar with the festival since 1992, Putnam expressed that she loves every minute of the ten-day festival experience; but, looks at it from a different perspective after working at the Sundance Institute. Putnam sees the festival now as an extension of what strategically happens at the Sundance Institute all year long. She has learned more about the depth of the programs the Institute offers and how intertwined their influence is all over the world. Putnam shares, “In addition to supporting artists and telling their stories part of my job will focus on these three areas that support the impact of the Sundance Institute: Connecting the filmmakers and their work with more audiences, the Arts culture and the international scene.”

The Sundance Institute has been working with these connections on several levels. The Art Houses across the country joins them in supporting the Independent Filmmaker throughout the year i.e., The Landmark Theaters. Putnam is very excited that the Ford Foundation supports the documentary program and the digital pool is opening up more possibilities for the Festival short film programs to show on You Tube as well as working on a component for home screening.

The Sundance Institute is helping a number of countries develop their film programs adding East Africa and India. The international artists who participate in the Festival and Sundance Institute labs have grown to around thirty percent to date. Putnam was happy to announce that the Sundance Institute hosted the National Arts policy Round Table, support Americans for the Arts, Film Forward and a Global Project film that had its debut at the festival called Life in a Day. It’s a story of a single day on earth, please visit the website A film by the YouTube Community directed by Kevin MacDonald and produced by Ridley Scott and Tony Scott. The impact of the Sundance Institute is far reaching and Putnam looks forward to building upon the opportunities given to her as she leads the Institute forward.