Sundance Institute announced the eight members of the inaugural class of the Momentum Fellowship, a full-year programme of deep, customised, creative, as well as professional support for writers, directors, and producers from underrepresented communities working across documentary and feature filmmaking, episodic content, as well as virtual reality, who are waiting to take the next step in their careers.
The Momentum Fellowship evolved from the former ‘Women at Sundance programme’, which supported women artists at the forefront of storytelling, providing a pipeline for female film and theatre makers. The Momentum Fellowship serves a greater cohort of the underrepresented communities. Those eligible for this larger, more intersectional programme now include artists identifying as women, non-binary, and/or transgender, artists of colour, as well as artists with disabilities.
The 2019 momentum fellows are namely, Alexandria Bombach; Amber Fares; Josh Feldman; Yance Ford; Ro Haber; Megha Kadakia; Alysa Nahmias, and Eva Vives.
Karim Ahmad, the director of Outreach and Inclusion stated, “Our inaugural class of fellows bring such an array of unique talents and experiences to the creative table. We are beyond excited for this year of collaboration and development,” adding, “We also hope that this intersectional approach will be a model for increasingly vital conversations about allyship across demographic silos in the art industry’s communities at large.”
“After supporting six classes of Women at Sundance fellows, we are thrilled to expand the fellowship to include voices from underrepresented communities. The fellowship offers critical support so that artists can fulfil their potential, create sustainable careers, and form a close-knit cohort that will develop into an invaluable alliance,” said Caroline Libresco, director of Women at Sundance.
The robust, year-long fellowship is made possible with the generous support and strategic partnership of the Harnisch Foundation and Warner Bros Pictures. The fellowship includes professional mentorship, coaching through the Harnisch coaching programme offered by Renee Freedman & Co, in addition to an artist sustainability grant, travel grants to the Sundance Film Festival to participate in curated activities, introductions to branded and episodic content, as well as a bespoke year-round support.
Additionally, the Sundance Institute partnered with Warner Bros Pictures in order to establish the Sundance Institute/ Warner Bros Feature Film Directors Track. Aligning with the company’s greater goals of inclusion and commitment to diversity in front of and behind the camera, Warner Bros is dedicated to nurture and grow this new class of fellows, which includes access to executives and workshops hosted on the studio’s Burbank lot. The Programme will allow for customised activities and sub-groups whenever necessary, while still organised under an intersectional fellowship.
The Sundance Institute gratefully acknowledges each of the contributors to its Outreach and Inclusion department and Women at Sundance programme, whose partnership enabled the institute to support dozens of bold and underrepresented voices in independent storytelling throughout its programmes.