Sundance Institute Brings Free Filmmaker Workshop and Film Screenings to Minnesota April 28 – May 1

ShortsLab: Half-Day Filmmaking Workshop in St. Paul April 28 at Schmidt Artist Lofts, Supported by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Sundance Film Forward: Free Screenings of Acclaimed Independent Films in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Northfield, Minnesota April 29 – May 1, in Partnership with Four U.S. Federal Cultural Agencies

Posted Apr 1, 2015

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute, host of the renowned Sundance Film Festival, announced today that it will host a free filmmaker workshop and film screenings and discussions in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Northfield, Minnesota April 28 through May 1, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, four U.S. federal cultural agencies and IFP Minnesota. Independent filmmakers, local students and film lovers are invited to attend these events, which are part of the Institute’s recently expanded efforts to connect with independent artists and audiences in regions across the country.

ShortsLab St. Paul, a half-day seminar focusing on narrative short-form storytelling, takes place April 28 at Schmidt Artist Lofts and will offer filmmakers firsthand insight and advice into the world of story development, production, working with cast and crew, and how to get the most out of making a short film. Participants will hear from established independent filmmakers, including Eliza Hittman, about their work and creative process. ShortsLab St. Paul is presented by Sundance Institute, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For more information and to RSVP visit

Sundance Film Forward will host free screenings of acclaimed independent films Difret with producer Mehret Mandefro and Little White Lie with director Lacey Schwartz with moderated discussions, feedback sessions for emerging filmmakers and filmmaker reception in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Northfield, Minnesota April 29 through May 1. For a full schedule of events and venues visit

Sundance Film Forward is a touring program designed for 18 to 25 year olds, students and artists that offers film screenings and discussions to excite and cultivate new audiences for independent film. It uses the power of cinema to promote broader cultural understanding, inspire curiosity and enhance awareness of shared stories and values across generations, religions, ethnicities and borders. Sundance Film Forward is an initiative of Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Support for these events in Minnesota is provided by IFP Minnesota.


Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

Sundance Film Forward Federal Partners
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) bridges the interests of American federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation and excellence in the arts and humanities, and helps incorporate these disciplines into White House objectives. First Lady Michelle Obama is the Honorary Chairman of the PCAH.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. The agency’s grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow @US_IMLS on Twitter and on Facebook.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at, follow us on Twitter @NEAarts or like us on Facebook.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency, provides support for documentary films, digital media and other educational programs in the humanities through competitive grant programs. The NEH is the nation’s leading supporter of research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Download Press Release