Sundance 2012 was a record-breaking year year for ITVS and Independent Lens. Six ITVS funded films screened in the documentary competitions and all six were honored with Sundance awards. (ITVS had had seven films playing at Sundance in 2004; six films in 2002; and eight films in 1997 for those interested in banner years).
Adding to that powerful showing, midway through Sundance two ITVS-supported films received Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary including Hell and Back Again by Danfung Dennis (coming to Independent Lens in May) and If a Tree Falls by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman (broadcast on POV). We were able to celebrate in person as Danfung and Sam (a producer on The House I Live In) were both in Park City. Even the Utah snowstorms couldn’t slow our momentum because that’s one heck of a week.
Independent Lens and ITVS held an intimate lunch to honor our 2012 Sundance and Academy Award-nominated filmmakers. Stepping away from the noise and full-on energy that is Sundance, we wanted to take a moment to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary work of the filmmakers. Four of the six ITVS films at Sundance are already slated for broadcast on Independent Lens following theatrical distribution, including Grand Jury Prize winner The House I Live In by Eugene Jarecki, Audience Award winner The Invisible War by Kirby Dick, Special Jury Prize winner Love Free or Die by Macky Alston, and Detropia by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, which was honored for best editing.
In addition, the Independent Lens film The Island President by Jon Shenk, Richard Berge, and Bonni Cohen screened in a Sundance sidebar program. These five films will make for an exceptional new season of Independent Lens — and they will be joined by a stunning array of other documentaries coming to completion this year. The two additional ITVS-funded films that premiered in the World Cinema Documentary Competition and took awards are Putin's Kiss (Best Cinematography Award) and 5 Broken Cameras (Best Directing).
Sundance 2012 is a wrap, but the impact of these extraordinary films is just beginning. We have an exceptional year ahead, lead by the power of independent storytelling.
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