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Sundance Institute announces new CEO

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Former Executive Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, Joana Vicente, has been chosen as the new Executive Director of the Sundance Institute. Vicente will take up her new role in November and succeed Keri Putnam, who stepped down in August.
Photo by Fred Hayes © 2013 null WireImage

Former Executive Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, Joana Vicente, is the new Executive Director of the Sundance Institute.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Sundance board of directors announced that Vicente, a renowned filmmaker and producer, will succeed Keri Putnam, who resigned her post in August.

Vicente is expected to officially take the helm in November and will work at the Institute’s offices in Park City, Los Angeles and New York, according to the statement.



Chairman of the Board Pat Mitchell and President-elect Ebs Burnough, who chaired the research committee, said Vicente is showing up at Sundance as a true champion “of preservation, discovery, incubation and the encouragement of independent art in all its forms “.

“All of this, combined with his history in running a film festival, his success in fundraising and partnerships, and his proven ability to navigate fundamental changes in technology and the way audiences consume and experimenting with the content, makes us extremely confident that Joana will continue the valuable work of Sundance. work for independent artists in the United States and around the world, ”they said in the statement.



As CEO of the Sundance Institute, his responsibilities will include defining strategies that encompass “the evolving future of storytelling and build on the Institute’s work to support visionary artists with distinct voices in film, film, theater, film composition, episodic storytelling and emerging media, ”the statement said. .

In addition, the statement said Vicente’s responsibilities include overseeing the Institute’s arts, public and field development programs, the Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Co., as well as promoting the efforts of the Institute. inclusion and equity of Sundance. She will also oversee a permanent staff of 200 and additional seasonal staff of 250, report to the Board of Directors, and work with artists, industry members and donors.

While at the Toronto International Film Festival, Vicente helped the organization get through COVID-19, while leading a strategic plan for the organization that would lead to long-term organizational stability.

Vicente is no stranger to Sundance, either.

She founded Open City Films in 1994 and, as President, has produced an array of Sundance-backed lab projects, feature films and shorts that have screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

The films include “Three Seasons”, which won the Grand Jury Prize, the Cinematography Prize and the Audience Prize, and “Welcome to the Dollhouse”, which won a Grand Jury Prize.

“Sundance has been a vital part of my career – I feel like I grew up as a producer with the support of the Sundance Festival and Labs,” Vicente said in the press release. “It’s an amazing opportunity to lead an organization that has defined independent storytelling for 40 years. “

Sundance Institute founder and chairman Rober Redford hailed the choice of Vicente’s board of directors as CEO.

“From the day we created the Sundance Institute, we have had a very specific mission to foster independence, risk taking and new and diverse voices in storytelling,” Redford said in the statement. “Throughout her career, it is evident that Joana shares this same uncompromising vision, and we know that she has a deep understanding of the changing landscape and can reach a new generation of independent creators working more fluidly across all areas. disciplines, communicating across borders, and interacting directly with the public.


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