Sundance Institute today announced the expansion of Sundance Institute Art House Project, a partnership with art house cinemas nationwide to build audiences and develop a supportive community of theatre owners committed to independent film. This year's Art House Project includes a specially-selected series of short films from the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, a film tour of an acclaimed documentary, and a convergence of art house theatres from across the nation to be held January 13-15, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"We created the Art House project to go to the heart of where independent spirit lives all year," said John Cooper, Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival. "Our organizing principle is to increase the market for film exhibition by expanding the number and effectiveness of community-based, mission-driven theatres in local communities, large and small, nationwide.”
Sundance Institute Art House Project unites the country’s best independent theatres to promote the growth and appreciation of cinema culture in local communities nationwide.  Each of the participating theatres is acclaimed for their innovative programming and their engagement with their local arts scene. These theatres foster a cultural intersection for local and visiting filmmakers to showcase their work, for families to gather, and for daily programming to spark critical dialogue and debate.
"The Art House Project theatres appreciate the commitment of the Sundance Institute to develop audiences for independent artists, said Russ Collins, Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor and Co-Chair of the Art House Project. "Over the last three years, it has been gratifying to see the Art House Project evolve into a national movement. It is a movement that I believe will dramatically grow audiences for art house cinema.”
Participating Theatres are:
BAM, New York, NY,
Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN,
Broadway Centre Cinemas, Salt Lake City, UT,
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA,
Enzian Theater, Orlando, FL,
Hollywood Theatre, Portland, OR,
International Film Series, Boulder, CO,
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY,
The Loft, Tucson, AZ,
Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI,
The Music Box, Chicago, IL,
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK,
The Palm, San Luis Obispo, CA,
Pickford Cinema, Bellingham, WA,
Rafael Film Center, San Rafael, CA,
Ragtag Cinema, Columbia, MO,
Railroad Square Cinema, Waterville, ME,
The Screen, Santa Fe, NM,
Sundance Institute Art House Project Shorts Collection
A specially selected series of short films from Sundance Film Festival is being presented exclusively at each of the Art House Project theaters. This year, the shorts program includes: MAN (directed by Myna Joseph), FCU: Fact Checkers Unit (directed by Dan Beers), Sikumi (directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean), I Love Sarah Jane (directed by Spencer Susser), W. (directed by The Vikings), Spider (directed by Nash Edgerton), Your Truly (directed by Osbert Parker), Dennis (directed by Mads Matthiesen) and my olympic summer (directed by Daniel Robin).
Evidence of the programmatic growth of the Sundance Institute Art House Project is the addition of the newly initiated film tour this year. Director Margaret Brown's film, The Order of Myths traveled to six Art House Project theatres: Michigan Theater, Ragtag Cinema, Belcourt Theater, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, International Film Series and the Jacob Burns Film Center. This acclaimed documentary traces the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in America. Against an opulent backdrop, director Brown uncovers a tangled web of historical violence, elusive forces that keep this tradition organized along racial lines.
Art House Convergence
The Art House Convergence is presented in cooperation with the Sundance Institute January 13-15, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the Convergence,  Art House theatres from all over the U.S. will gather just before the Sundance Film Festival (January 15-25) providing a rare opportunity for art house theatres to network and discuss successful marketing, programming and business models as well as current issues facing independent theatres.
The conference will include a keynote address by John Cooper, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, as well as panel sessions on:
-       How to use the not-for-profit business model to grow audiences for Art House films
-       An exploration of new film distribution paradigms (participating in these panels will be Bob Berney, formerly of Picturehouse and Peter Broderick, Paradigm Consulting, Ted Hope, This Is That Productions )
-       Innovative marketing and showmanship techniques
-       Tutorials on emerging film exhibition and Art House theatre operations technology
 Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent film. Held each January in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah, the Festival is a core program of Sundance Institute, a nonprofit cultural organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Presenting dramatic and documentary feature-length films in nine distinct categories and approximately 80 short films each year, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most innovative films of the past two decades. Since 1984, the Festival program has evolved to include music, art, and dialogue. Beyond the streets of Park City, the official website of the Sundance Film Festival, shares the Festival experience with a global audience with short films, filmmaker interviews, videos, podcasts, photos, news stories, and more.
Sundance Institute Art House Project
In 2005, the Art House Project was created to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Sundance Institute and pay tribute to Art House theatres nationwide. Twelve art house theatres from around the country were designated and united as Sundance Institute Art House Project theatres. In 2006, a Sundance Institute 25th Anniversary retrospective series was made available for each of the theatress to show in their local communities. Representatives from the Art House Projects theatres were invited to attend the festival to gain further insight on the scope and scale of independent cinema world-wide. Now in its 4th year, this initiative is leading the effort to create a national organization of independent cinemas and has expanded its program, developing a broader, more dynamic model including a film tour and a Sundance Film Festival programmed series of short films. The Sundance Institute Art House Project will grow by 50% in 2009 when six new theatres are added to its ranks for a total of 18 nationwide.
Sundance Institute
Dedicated year-round to the development of artists of independent vision and to the exhibition of their new work, Sundance Institute was founded by Robert Redford in 1981. The Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for thousands of independent artists through its Film Festival and artistic development programs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, playwrights and theatre artists. The original values of independence, creative risk-taking and discovery continue to define and guide the work of Sundance Institute, both with US artists and, increasingly, with artists from other regions of the world.