Sundance Institute – Native Program

Grantee:  Sundance Institute – Native and Indigenous Film Program
Location:  Los Angeles
Award:  Regional Collaboration Pilot Program 2012
Discipline:  Regional Collaboration Pilot Program
Web Site:

Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Program supports Native filmmakers across the U.S. and around the world. The Program invites promising Native filmmakers to develop their projects through the mechanisms of support at Sundance Institute, and then return with their work to Native lands to inspire new generations of storytellers.

Since the Sundance Institute’s beginnings, Native filmmakers have established a rich legacy of work. Under this umbrella, the Native American and Indigenous Program has built and sustained an Indigenous film circle. The core of the program’s work begins by scouting for and identifying American Indian and Indigenous filmmakers, bringing them through the mechanisms of support at Sundance Institute to get their work made and shown, then bringing the filmmakers and their work back to Native lands. Founded by Robert Redford, the Native Lab Fellowship is a vital part of supporting Native filmmakers full-circle. Four projects are selected annually for the Fellowship from a national competition and supported in two phases over the course of a year.

During the grant period, Native Program events served 1,025 Native community members in Los Angeles, CA; Mescalero and Santa Fe, NM; Mt. Pleasant, MI; Sulphur, OK; and Utah. These included both youth and adults, and members of the Chickasaw, Mescalero Apache, and Saginaw Chippewa communities, among many others.

The Native Program directly supported 19 individual artists, many of whom participated in multiple activities, during the grant period. The backgrounds of these artists include Blackfeet, Chickasaw, Comanche, Creek, Hawaiian, Hopi, Iñupiaq, Kiowa, Laguna Pueblo, Mississippi Choctaw, Muskogee Creek, Navajo, Nez Perce, Oglala Lakota, Salish, Seminole and Umatilla.