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Pivotal Support for Women Filmmakers: Spotlight on the 2024 Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellowship

The Sundance Institute recently announced the eight women selected for the 2024 Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellowship, a yearlong program designed to support and sustain the creative endeavors of women filmmakers, particularly those from historically underrepresented communities. Launched in 2020, this program is a testament to the Institute and Adobe’s shared commitment to uplifting diverse voices at crucial career stages.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Adobe, offering essential support to women artists breaking new ground in film,” said Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs, Director of Artist Accelerator and Women at Sundance. “The Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellowship provides a holistic support system, including a sustainability-focused cash grant, professional development opportunities, and networking. By addressing the systemic barriers women face in the industry, we aim to empower these visionary artists. We are deeply grateful for Adobe’s unwavering commitment and look forward to guiding these women on their creative journeys.”

Each fellow receives a cash grant, workshops, career development referrals, a yearlong membership to Adobe Creative Cloud, virtual access to the Sundance ELEVATE professional development track, and entry to Sundance Collab, the Institute’s digital space for artists. This comprehensive support helps these talented filmmakers create, share their stories, and refine their craft.

Selected from the Sundance Institute’s diverse artist community, this year’s fellows represent various disciplines, including the Feature Film Program, Documentary Film Program, Episodic Program, Indigenous Program, and Artist Accelerator Program. Adobe’s role extends beyond this fellowship; they are a Presenting Sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival and a Founding Supporter of Sundance Ignite, which supports young filmmakers aged 18-25 and back Sundance Collab.

Meet the 2024 Sundance Women to Watch x Adobe Fellows:

  • Francesca Canepa, a Peruvian director based in Mexico City, whose short film The Silence of the River premiered at Berlinale 2020. Her feature film La Otra Orilla is in pre-production.
  • Artemis Fannin, a producer focused on amplifying marginalized voices, currently manages production at 371 Productions.
  • Kristine Gerolaga is a Filipina American filmmaker supported by the Sundance Artist Accelerator and Feature Film Programs.
  • Sylvia Khoury, a New York-based filmmaker and playwright, 2022 Pulitzer Finalist in Drama, and a 2024 Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Lab Fellow.
  • Jane Casey Modderno, writer of The Birch and The Girl in the Woods and a fellow at the 2024 Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs.
  • Gabriella García Pardo is a nonfiction director/producer/cinematographer with works including La Bonga and The Bardia.
  • Jolene Pinder is a documentary producer and arts administrator based in the American South who teaches at Tulane University.
  • Jana Schmieding is a Lakota actor, writer, and producer known for Rutherford Falls and Reservation Dogs.

Success Stories from Past Fellows:

  • Fancy Dance, produced by Deidre Backs and co-written by Miciana Hutcherson, premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Apple.
  • Gabriela Ortega is actively seeking financing for her film Huella.
  • Keisha Rae Witherspoon continues to shine as a 2024 Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs fellow.
  • Aisha Bhoori is adapting Huma Abedin’s memoir Both/And into a limited series with Freida Pinto attached to the star.
  • Cris Gris directed episodes of the Max series Ugly.
  • Laura Moss’ birth/rebirth debuted at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
  • Dionne Edwards’ Pretty Red Dress is set to open theatrically this summer.
  • Iliana Sosa’s documentary What We Leave Behind premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.
  • Milisuthando Bongela’s Milisuthando premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Adobe, The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, Bill and Ruth Harnisch—The Harnisch Foundation, and NBCUniversal make Women at Sundance possible, with additional support from Kimberly Steward, The Latinx House, Pat Mitchell, and Scott Seydel.

For more inspiring stories and to learn more about how these programs are empowering women filmmakers, visit https://www.sundance.org