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The Sundance Film Festival has always been a leader when it comes to promoting diversity in front of and behind the camera. At a time when the movie business is under pressure to become more representative, Sundance has led the way, inviting a large number of storytellers who are female and who are people of color. But at the festival’s kickoff press conference on Tuesday morning, Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam said that organizers had noticed a disturbing blind spot.
“Diversity isn’t about who is making the films,” Putnam said. “It’s about how they enter the world.” She added that the festival noticed that they were admitting “mostly white male critics.” That influenced the kind of films that were championed by reviewers, which in turn meant that only certain types of films scored big deals and major distribution pushes.
Lack - Inclusion - Implications - Putnam - Something
“This lack of inclusion has real-world implications,” Putnam said. “So we decided to do something about it.” She said that organizers re-shaped the credential process as a result.
“Sixty three percent of the press is from underrepresented groups this year,” Putnam said.
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Putnam and John Cooper, the festival’s director, emphasized that the festival prizes films the shine a light on society and grapple with political and cultural issues.
Voices - World - Cooper
“We go out to find the most interesting, the boldest voices from all around the world,” said Cooper.
This year’s slate includes “Knock Down the House,” a documentary that chronicles Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rise; “Late Night,” the story of a diversity hire in a comedy show writer’s room; and “Native Son,” a contemporary reworking of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel. Forty seven percent of the...
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