December 2003

Sundance Institute Documentary Program

Jason Guerrasio interviews program director Diane Weyermann


What is the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund?
It’s a fund to support documentaries in the US and internationally that deal with contemporary human rights issues, social justice, civil liberties, and freedom of expression. It used to be the Soros Documentary Fund.

The IFP Market's Silver Anniversary


A painter who hijacks billboards for subversive messages against corporate advertising; a man trying to convert his car to run on French fry oil; a boxing cutman who loses his touch; a homeless African American man struggling to find an apartment and reclaim his dignity; a dying Hollywood producer who bribes his son into filming his death; a woman uniting with her estranged family to reveal a trag

Funder FAQ: Sundance Institute Documentary Program


What is the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund?
It’s a fund to support documentaries in the US and internationally that deal with contemporary human rights issues, social justice, civil liberties, and freedom of expression. It used to be the Soros Documentary Fund.

How long has the fund been with Sundance?
It’s been here for two years.

From Idea to Story

Discovering a Documentary Narrative


Suppose that you’re thinking of doing a documentary film about Elvis Presley, or a diner in your home town, or images of Islam in American popular culture. Something about the topic has caught your interest, and you think you want to take it to the next level.

Hometown Hitter

The Station Agent's Tom McCarthy


First-time screenwriter/director Tom McCarthy didn’t stray too far from home when he decided to make his debut film The Station Agent. The film, set and shot about twenty-five minutes away from where McCarthy grew up in rural New Jersey, is a small-town story about an out-of-towner new to small-town life.

The Nuances of Film Editing

Shaping a Story After the Wrap


The word “edit” has a bad reputation. To lay folk, the word brings to mind overindulgence, censorship, and the property neighbored by “File” and “View.” But people in film know better.

Film Festivals: The IFP Market's Silver Anniversary


A painter who hijacks billboards for subversive messages against corporate advertising; a man trying to convert his car to run on French fry oil; a boxing cutman who loses his touch; a homeless African American man struggling to find an apartment and reclaim his dignity; a dying Hollywood producer who bribes his son into filming his death; a woman uniting with her estranged family to reveal a trag

From Idea to Story

Discovering a Documentary Narrative


Suppose that you’re thinking of doing a documentary film about Elvis Presley, or a diner in your home town, or images of Islam in American popular culture. Something about the topic has caught your interest, and you think you want to take it to the next level.

The Nuances of Film Editing

Shaping a Story After the Wrap


The word “edit” has a bad reputation. To lay folk, the word brings to mind overindulgence, censorship, and the property neighbored by “File” and “View.” But people in film know better.

Story Is As Story Does

But How Do You Really Know?


In 1997, I had a decent career as a freelance magazine writer when at the beach one day I told a friend, a production executive at a major studio, about a book I’d recently reviewed. She said she thought it would make an interesting movie. A year later, I moved to LA with the option to the book and forty-three pages of a screenplay.

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