For most folks, the phrase "
Yet arguably one of the most vital programs of the Sundance Institute is one that the public never sees and many people have little awareness of — its filmmaking labs. Though programs are put on throughout the year and around the world, it is the lab programs at the Sundance Resort in Utah that perhaps best capture their spirit, a mix of idyllic location, immersive intensity and creative support, with programs covering areas including directing, screenwriting, producing and documentary filmmaking.
Under the longtime guidance of the founding director of the Feature Film Program, Michelle Satter, the institute has amassed an impressive list of projects and talent that have come through its doors. Just a few who have participated over the years include
Potential fellows enter the process through an open submission process. Recent festival prize winners such as Damien Chazelle's "Whiplash,"
Actor Ed Harris shot a role this summer in the feature film "The Adderall Diaries," adapted and directed by Pamela Romanowsky, whom he met at the Sundance labs last year. Though Harris has been to the Sundance labs numerous times as an advisor, he said this was the first time he's ever subsequently taken a role from someone right out of the program.
"You really deal with what their problems are," he said of the process at the labs. "It's just really fun, you're working in rehearsal, while they're shooting and in the cutting room. You're not telling them what to do, you're asking them questions trying to help them deal with their own shortcomings. I don't think there's anything like it."