SUNDANCE INSTITUTE LAUNCHES DOCUMENTARY PARTNERSHIP WITH SKOLL FOUNDATION $3 Million Initiative Exploring Social Entrepreneurship Expands Sundance Institutes Commitment to New Directions in Documentary Los Angeles, CA and Palo Alto, CA Sundance Institute and the Skoll Foundation announced today a $3 million, three-year partnership dedicated to exploring film's role in advancing knowledge about social entrepreneurship. The grant will support the launch of STORIES OF CHANGE: SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN FOCUS THROUGH DOCUMENTARY, a new initiative spearheaded by the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. STORIES OF CHANGE builds on earlier work between the Skoll Foundation and Sundance Institute in exploring the potential of combining the art of storytelling with the impact of social entrepreneurship. This partnership will help create new opportunities for leading social entrepreneurs and outstanding documentary filmmakers to collaborate and to create new projects that advance the innovative approaches found in both fields. "The challenges we currently face as a global society demand deep understanding and inspired solutions, said Cara Mertes, Director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. "This partnership is based on the belief that exemplary documentary storytellers and visionary social entrepreneurs have much to share, and more to learn from each other. We hope both good film projects, as well as creative possibilities in democratic practice which inform contemporary public thought will emerge through new networks created between the two fields. STORIES OF CHANGE is the only multi-year, multi-million dollar grant awarded by the Skoll Foundation that funds both a new network of professional exchange, and the film projects which result. "Sundance Institute is an internationally recognized resource for the worlds storytellers, and it has taken the lead in exploring the role of documentary as an avenue for cultural expression in the 21st century, said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "The Sundance Institute Documentary Program supports filmmakers who share a passion with our social entrepreneurs for effecting lasting, transformative social change, and they have a unique capacity to examine and amplify that passion for a global audience." STORIES OF CHANGE has several facets, including a year-round network connecting social entrepreneurs and filmmakers centered on annual convenings at major events such as the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. It will provide $1.2 million in film project grants to enable the seeding, development and creation of new films; expand the audienceship of documentary films concerned with social entrepreneurship; create an online resource for social entrepreneurs and filmmakers to facilitate individual and community-level networking, collaboration and exchange of information, knowledge and expertise; and will present case studies to frame and shape how those working in social entrepreneurship and film/media approach creative concept development. Since 1996, the Sundance Documentary Fund has supported more than 400 films in 52 countries. In its next phase, the Sundance Institute Documentary Program is poised to become a center of gravity for human rights in film, media and related fields globally, signaling the growing significance of the field. "Storytelling is central and fundamental to who we are as humans," said Ken Brecher, Executive Director, Sundance Institute. "The Skoll partnership will further advance Sundance Institute's interest in connecting dynamic storytellers with the transformative thinking of some of the worlds social-change visionaries. Through this, we can explore the capacity of contemporary-issue filmmaking to imagine new possibilities. Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program is a resource for contemporary-issue documentary filmmakers globally. The program advances innovative nonfiction storytelling about a range of social issues, and promotes the exhibition of documentary films to broad audiences. Through the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Documentary Edit and Story Laboratory, Documentary Composers Laboratory as well as the Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Institute Independent Producers Conference and a variety of international initiatives, the program support the filmmakers vision through a range of opportunities and services. Films that have received the financial and/or creative support of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program include LONG NIGHTS JOURNEY INTO DAY, MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, BORN INTO BROTHELS, IRON LADIES OF LIBERIA, MANDA BALA, PARAGRAPH 175, LOST BOYS OF SUDAN, BLACK GOLD, DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK and IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS. Sundance Institute Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is dedicated to the development of artists of independent vision and the exhibition of their new work. Since its inception, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for filmmakers and other artists. Sundance Institute conducts national and international labs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, writers and theatre artists. The annual Sundance Film Festival, a major program of Sundance Institute, is held each January and is considered the premier showcase for American and international independent film. The Institute supports non-fiction filmmakers through the Documentary Film Program by providing year-round support through the Sundance Documentary Fund and a series of programs that nurture their growth, encourage the exploration of innovative nonfiction storytelling and promote the exhibition of documentary films to a broader audience. Through the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Institute is committed to invigorating the national theatre movement with original and creative work and to nurturing the diversity of artistic expression among theatre artists. The Institute also maintains The Sundance Collection at UCLA, a unique archive of independent film. Skoll Foundation Headquartered in Californias Silicon Valley, the Skoll Foundation was created in 1999 by eBays first president, Jeff Skoll, to promote his vision for a more peaceful and prosperous world. Today, the Skoll Foundation advances systemic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs individuals dedicated to pioneering new solutions that result in lasting improvements to complex social problems. It invests in social entrepreneurs through the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. It connects them through Social Edge, an online community at and via the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University. It celebrates social entrepreneurs through such projects as the PBS Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Fund, which promotes large-scale public awareness of social entrepreneurship. For more information, visit

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