With the Sundance Film Festival right around the corner, Indiewire is gearing up for another busy 10 days in Park City. Once again, we’re turning to a group of promising newcomers to help us cover the experience.
We are pleased to announce the participants in the second annual Indiewire | Sundance Institute Ebert Fellowship for Film Criticism. Four fellows will receive a grant for travel, housing and other expenses to attend and cover the 2015 Sundance Film Festival for Indiewire and RogerEbert.com from January 22 – February, 2015. Funds will come from a grant the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation to the Sundance Institute’s Roger Ebert Scholarship for Film Criticism, in memory of the late, beloved critic. The model for the workshop is similar to the Critics Academy initiatives co-hosted by Indiewire at the Locarno and New York film festivals each year.
Over the course of Sundance, this year’s participants will file reviews and features in a deadline-driven environment. They will report to Indiewire’s chief film critic and deputy editor Eric Kohn as well as other members of the Indiewire staff. They will also have the opportunity to network with working critics and other industry professionals during roundtable discussions and related events. Additionally, each participant will be assigned a specific mentor from the film journalism community who will advise them during the festival.
This year, mentors for the Sundance workshop will include Film Society of Lincoln Center deputy director and Indiewire co-founder Eugene Hernandez, New York Times contributor Logan Hill, and L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson.
Participants have all demonstrated a passion for film culture and criticism in their existing work. They were selected based on the strength of their writing, sensibilities and professional ambition. Unlike a classroom setting, the fellowship is designed to provide a direct access point for qualified young film critics looking to advance their careers. Rather than providing an educational aid for students of the profession, the initiative is designed to bolster the career momentum for emerging practitioners.
“Roger would be so happy to know that we are
continuing to sponsor emerging writers and/or filmmakers to festivals in
a manner where they see their mission to add to the good in the world
and to look for the solutions to connecting humanity rather than to add
to the divisions,” said Chaz Ebert. “This is one such way to do
that, and I am proud to be a part of it through Sundance.”
In the coming weeks, our Criticwire blog will offer more details about this year’s participants. For now, we’re thrilled to reveal their names:
Ibad Shah (Connecticut)
Sterlin Johnson (Chicago)
An Banh (Florida)
Anisha Jhaveri (New York)
Additionally, Indiewire will continue its ongoing partnership with MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program by publishing coverage by two of its graduate students on the installation art at this year’s festival. This year, graduate students Beyza Boyacioglu and Deniz Tortum will participate in the partnership.