As many of you know the Sundance Institute, better known as the Sundance Film Festival, was founded by Robert Redford in 1981 as a nonprofit organization. The Sundance Institute develops programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights. Sundance assists artists in succeeding by introducing their work to audiences. The Institute also promotes independent storytelling to inspire, educate and bring together diverse populations around the globe, and it has been behind such projects as“Born into Brothels”, “Trouble the Water”, “Sin Nombre”, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” , “Amreeka”, “An Inconvenient Truth”, “Spring Awakening”, “I Am My Own Wife”, “Light in the Piazza” and “Angels in America.”
Just recently Sundance partnered with the Mahindra Group. The Mahindra Group’s media and entertainment company, Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd, presented the Indian National Award-winning Best Feature Film, ‘Antaheen’ in 2009, and has recently co-produced ‘The Tempest’ directed by Julie Taymor. Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd. is evaluating various opportunities in the media and entertainment space in India as well as internationally. These two companies have created the Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award. The award is in recognition and support of upcoming independent filmmakers from around the world. The winners of this award will receive a cash award of $10,000.00, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings and year-round mentoring from the Institute staff, and participation in one of the Sundance Labs. The collaboration, which also includes the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, extends over a three-year period. The Lab will provide an opportunity for eight screenwriters from India to develop their feature scripts under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters and filmmakers in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level.
The 2012 Sundance Institute | Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award was presented on January 24, 2012 to four filmmakers. The four winners were Etienne Kallos from South Africa, Ariel Kleiman from Australia, Dominga Sotomayor from Chile, and Sonali Bose from India.
Etienne’s film is entitled “Vrystaat (Free State).” The film is set during the annual corn harvest in the Free State and explores the rites of passage into manhood for a new generation as they navigate identity and sexuality within the fractured realm of post-Colonial Africa.
Ariel’s film is called “Partisan”, a story about a criminal named Gregori who controls a group of women and children. This group assists him on his farm, but additional they also carry out dangerous assassinations in neighboring towns. Greogir’s authority is undisputed until one boy decides its time to put an end to Gregori’s reign.
Dominga’s film, “Tarde Para Morir Joven (Late to Die Young)” focuses on a group of three women who face a forest fire that threatens to eliminate their sense of belonging and the lives they’ve created in an isolated community.
Finally, Shonali’s film is called “Margarita. With a Straw.” It’s a film about Laila, a brilliant mind trapped in a disobedient body. All she really wants to be is a Bollywood songwriter. You can view a short interview with Shonali talking about her film on Mumbai Mantra’s Youtube channel.
Congratulations to these winners and we looking forward to seeing their films in the near future.
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