Sections Audience

Sundance’s Press Inclusion Initiative

In 2018, Sundance Institute launched a first-of-its-kind Press Inclusion Initiative, designed to diversify the press corps at the Sundance Film Festival, which is critical to broadening the discourse around the Festival program and giving each film the best opportunity to find and grow its audience.


This initiative is designed to support critics and writers who are women, LGBTQ+, non-binary and/or transgender, people who are BIPOC and people with disabilities in attending and covering the Festival by providing a financial stipend.

Launched as a collaboration between Sundance’s Outreach and Inclusion Office and Press Office, consulted with industry leaders (including founding ReFrame Ambassadors Franklin Leonard and Dr. Stacy Smith) was determined to address three major barriers:

  • Access. Being a freelance / independent journalist from a smaller outlet made it harder to apply for credentials successfully
  • Financial resources. Not having the backing of a major outlet to pay for accommodation and flights to the festival which is quite expensive when you’re looking to stay at Park City during its peak season.
  • Integration. Feeling a part of the community - knowing where to go, who to talk to, what to expect and how to best engage with publicists.

For the fifth year, the Press Inclusion Initiative returns in 2023 by providing multifaceted support to freelance journalists from underrepresented communities: specifically critics and writers who identify as BIPOC, women, non-binary, LGBTQ+, and/or people with disabilities.

This year’s Press Inclusion Initiative offers a choice between In-Person and Online cash stipends. In-person stipends will support expenses around travel to the Festival in Utah. Online stipends will support those attending online only. Both stipend amounts are unrestricted; recipients are encouraged to deploy their stipends on anything they need to support and sustain covering the Festival.

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