Sundance Institute today announced that Carrie Lozano will helm its Documentary Film Program, succeeding interim Director Kristin Feeley and prior Director Tabitha Jackson, who recently became festival director of the entire Sundance Film Festival. As documentary film program director, Lozano is tasked with “elevating and supporting nonfiction filmmakers worldwide at all stages of creating and distributing new cinematic work.”
She will also lead the Documentary Film Program’s team, including labs director Feeley and film fund director Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs. She will report to the Institute’s executive director, Keri Putnam.
Lozano is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She joins the Institute from the International Documentary Association’s Enterprise Documentary Fund; she co-founded and oversaw the program, which supported dozens of filmmakers over the last four years, with an emphasis on journalistic rigor, diversity, and inclusion.
“I am thrilled to welcome Carrie to this critical role at Sundance,” Putnam said in an official statement. “As a filmmaker and field leader, she is a fierce advocate for independent voices, a thoughtful contributor to solving the most urgent challenges facing nonfiction artists, and deeply committed to the values of justice and equity. Her experience and perspective will be invaluable to the Documentary Film Program and the Institute’s Leadership Team.”
Prior to the IDA, she led the Bay Area Video Coalition’s National MediaMaker Fellowship and was an executive and senior producer at Al Jazeera America. Films that she has directed or produced have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival. Her most recent film is 2016’s “The Ballad of Fred Hersch.” Lozano serves on the boards of the nonprofit production companies Kartemquin Films, Swell Cinema, and The Free History Project.
“Sundance Institute has played a critical role in my career, so it’s deeply personal for me to lead its Documentary Film Program,” Lozano said in a statement. “On the precipice of a new, undetermined era, it feels fitting and exciting to join the Sundance Institute right now. Despite the pain and loss so many are feeling, this is a transformative moment, and I’m eager to harness its energy toward a more just and equitable field to support and develop artists who truly reflect the world around us. As such, it’s urgent to elevate and safeguard global independent voices who are at the core of Sundance’s mission and so essential to the highest democratic ideals.”
Earlier this summer, Sundance announced a series of layoffs and consolidations in reaction to the financial hits endured during the pandemic. While the organization announced it would be restructuring some of its labs and associated programs, the org has continued to support filmmakers through its grants, including its first-ever Women at Sundance | Adobe Fellowship and the yearlong Sundance Ignite x Adobe fellowship.
In August, the festival began to firm up plans for its 2021 edition, including shrinking the typically 10-day festival to seven days; it will now take place from January 28 to February 3. Newly installed festival director Tabitha Jackson in June revealed that the festival is planning for a range of scenarios when it comes to imagining what the event will look like during the global health crisis. That could include an online component, something that is looking increasingly likely for festivals that wait to remain relevant during the pandemic but are unable to host a normal level of on-the-ground activity.
Lozano will begin her tenure during a uniquely challenging time in festival planning: she’ll start on October 1.