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Sundance Institute and Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award

Sundance Institute and Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award

Sundance Institute and Mahindra announced the winners of the 2012 Sundance Institute/ Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world at a private ceremony on January 24 at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The winners:

Etienne Kallos for Free State (Vrystaat) from South Africa.  This Greek/ South African filmmaker with an MFA in film directing from NYU has screened his work at festivals worldwide.  His film Eersgeborene was the first Afrikaans-language film to be awarded a Lion for Best Short Film at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.  Vrystaat was developed at the Cannes Cinefondation Residence program in Paris.

Set during the annual corn harvest in the Free State, Vrystaat explores the rites of passage into manhood for a new generation as they navigate identity and sexuality within the fractured realm of post-Colonial Africa.

Ariel Kleiman / PARTISAN (Australia): In an undisclosed commune cut-off from the outside world, a guarded criminal named Gregori controls a group of women and children who not only assist him on the farm but also carry out dangerous assassinations in the neighboring towns. His authority is undisputed until one child, Alexander, decides to quietly undermine his plans.

Ariel Kleiman last appeared at Sundance with his short film Deeper than Yesterday, which received the Jury Prize in International Filmmaking. The year prior, his student film Young Love received Honorable Mention in Short Filmmaking.

Dominga Sotomayor / TARDE PARA MORIR JOVEN (LATE TO DIE YOUNG) (Chile): In an isolated community far from the city, three women face a forest fire that threatens their sense of belonging and their lives.  Dominga, born in Santiago de Chile in 1985 finisher her Direction studies at the Universidad Catolica de Chile and recevied a scholarship for her Masters in Film Direction at the ESCAC, Barcelona.  Her first feature, De Jueves a Domingo (Thursday to Sunday) was part of the Cannes Cinefondation and was supported by the Hubert Bals Fund and shows at Rotterdam Film Festival this February.  Tarde Para Morir Joven is her second feature, developed at Binger Filmlab and the Jerusalem International Film Lab.

Shonali Bose / Margarita. With a Straw (India): She falls repeatedly in love, yearns to have sex and wants to be a Bollywood songwriter. Laila. A brilliant mind trapped in a disobedient body. Shonali received her MA in Political Science at Columbia University followed by an MFA in Directing from the UCLA School of theater, Film and Televisionn where she won a number of awards inncludin the Ely Award for Best Documetary, Wasserman Award, Jack Sauter Award, Hollywood Radio and Television Society International Broadcasting Award, Motion Picture Association of America Award.  After graduating she taught at NYFA, Universal Studios for a year before starting to write her debut feature film.

Each of the four winning filmmakers receive a cash award of $10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, and participation in one of the Sundance Institute Labs.

The Sundance Institute/  Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award is part of a multifaceted agreement that exemplifies the commitment to and support of world cinema by the Mahindra Group, one of the largest companies in India known throughout the world for its dedication to excellence and  social responsibility, and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, one of the world’s leading cultural organizations.

The collaboration, which also includes the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra | Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, extends over a three-year period. The Lab will provide an opportunity for eight screenwriters from India to develop their feature scripts under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters and filmmakers in an environment that encourages storytelling at the highest level. 

Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Sin Nombre, Martha Marcy May Marlene,, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, I Am My Own Wife, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Mahindra

Mahindra embarked on its journey in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a US $14.4 billion Indian multinational. It employs over 1,44,000 people across the globe and enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, tractors and information technology, with a significant and growing presence in financial services, tourism, infrastructure development, trade logistics and, recently, the entertainment industry. 

Its media and entertainment company, Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd, presented  Indian National Award-winning Best Feature Film, ‘Antaheen’ in 2009, and has recently co-produced ‘The Tempest’ directed by Julie Taymor . It is evaluating various opportunities in the media and entertainment space in India as well as internationally.

The Mahindra Group has a long standing commitment to the arts and humanities. The Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) were created to encourage both emerging and established theatre and celebrated its Sixth Anniversary in  2011. The Group’s encouragement and support to world music will be at its fore at the second annual Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai  in February 2012 – the largest festival of its kind in Asia, showcasing the best international Blues artists and providing a common platform for emerging Indian Blues bands.

Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of the Mahindra Group, recently gave an endowment of $10 million to the Humanities Centre at the Harvard University, his alma mater.

To encourage and support the ‘young and the unknown’ and to give back to the communities it operates in, has been the core of the Mahindra Group’s involvement in art and culture.

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Emily Davis

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