When the Sundance Film Festival convenes in Park City, Utah later this month, Syracuse University will be well represented.
For the fourth year, a group of 10 film students—five from the Newhouse School and five from the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)—will attend the festival, accompanied by Professors Tula Goenka (Newhouse), Jeffrey Palmer (VPA) and Kelly Gallagher (VPA).
The students are attending as part of the Sundance Ignite initiative, which supports and fosters young filmmakers as the next generation of storytellers. The students receive a reduced-cost ticket package that includes screening tickets, a festival credential and access to events developed specifically for emerging filmmakers.
“The Sundance Ignite program helps students meet and network with with industry professionals and other aspiring filmmakers like themselves,” says Goenka, a professor of television, radio and film at the Newhouse School. “They get an exclusive, close-up view of how the hub of world independent cinema—the Sundance Film Festival—is organized and operates. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Students making the trip to Park City are Gabriel Acosta (Newhouse), Kelly Butler (VPA), Manoli Despines (VPA), Colette Lathan (Newhouse), Talia Levy (Newhouse), Shruti Marathe (Newhouse), Erofili Moraiti (VPA), Julia Rome (VPA), Lukas Sunderlin (Newhouse) and Qingchunyi Yan (VPA).
In addition, Syracuse University will host a panel discussion Jan. 31. featuring Palmer, whose documentary, “N. Scott Momaday: Words From A Bear,” will make its world debut this year at Sundance. The panel, “Creating the Documentary: Nonfiction Storytelling” will be moderated by Goenka and will explore how documentarians find and craft compelling stories that move audiences.
Syracuse University’s presence at Sundance is made possible by the generous support of Kuhn and the James D. Kuhn Film Fund, which encourages and creates learning, networking, development and screening opportunities for students interested in filmmaking.