Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge Premiered

Sundance Institute premiered the Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge, a program of nine international short films, at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The program is designed to spark global conversation about solutions to challenges like extreme hunger and poverty. Beginning Tuesday (February 3),the short films will premiere on a variety of digital platforms.

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Sundance Short Film Challenge Finally Premiered

Five of these films were selected among 1,387 submissions from 89 countries on, a creative platform which powered a global call for film entries that used the transformative power of storytelling to generate discussion, shift perceptions around extreme worldwide concerns and harness the power of independent film to create a global conversation about these issues. Contributors on Tongal could submit finished films or story ideas based on the above topics. These films are supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which encourages people inspired by these stories to join their new Global Citizen project.

The screening at the Festival includes new short films by Sundance Institute alumni Marialy Rivas (Melody), Diego Luna (Nana), Gael García Bernal (The Visible Hand) and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The World is as Big or as Small as You Make It).

The Short Film Challenge winning short films and directors are: Man in the Maze by Phil Buccellato and Jesse Ash (United States), Dropping In by Willem Van Den Heever (South Africa), Isabelle's Garden by Jeffrey Palmer (United States), 175 Grams by Bharat Mirle (India) and A Will of Iron by Seyi Fabunmi and Mobolaji Adeolu (Nigeria). Each filmmaker or film team received a $10,000 grant and will attend the Festival.

The films will premiere on digital media platforms beginning Tuesday (February 3) with Marialy Rivas’ film Melody on the New York Times Op Docs page, Jeffrey Palmer's film Isabelle's Garden on Indian Country Today Media Network, Willem Van Den Heever’s film Dropping In on, Bharat Mirle’s film 175 Grams on Fast Company, Phil Buccellato’s film Man in the Maze on the Arizona Daily Star, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s film The World is as Big or as Small As You Make It on Upworthy and Diego Luna’s film Nana on Al Jazeera. Additional platforms will be announced.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “The Short Film Challenge has been an opportunity for a group of filmmakers from around the world to illuminate under-told stories and raise awareness about important issues. With the support of the Gates Foundation, we are proud to present this selection of short films by emerging and more established voices at the Festival and hope they inspire dialogue and conversation.”

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Source: Sundance Film Festival

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