Eight Filmmakers Named as 2024 Sundance Momentum Fellows

Short Summary:

The Sundance Institute announced the eight recipients of the 2024 Momentum Fellowship, aimed at supporting mid-career artists from historically marginalized backgrounds. The program offers a year of customized support, including grants, professional coaching, and exclusive workshops, to help advance their careers and craft.
Sundance Film Festival
United States (USA)

The Sundance Institute, based in Park City, Utah, has officially announced the selection of eight storytellers for its 2024 Momentum Fellowship, now in its sixth year. This initiative is dedicated to the professional and creative development of mid-career artists, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, providing them with comprehensive support to enhance their careers and artistic abilities.

The Momentum Fellowship is designed for creators in both fiction and nonfiction who have recently achieved significant milestones in their careers, such as notable feature films or series. It offers a year-long program tailored to the fellows' individual goals, featuring an unrestricted artist grant, professional coaching by Renee Freedman & Company (supported by The Harnisch Foundation), and access to the Sundance Institute’s ELEVATE professional development track, which includes exclusive workshops and sessions. Entry into the fellowship is by invitation only.

In a move to further support the fellows, particularly those working on fiction projects, the program includes an ongoing partnership with Universal. This collaboration grants selected fellows access to the studio’s creative executives and producers, aiming to boost their career momentum and expose them to potential directing opportunities within Universal’s portfolio.

Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs, the Director of Artist Accelerator and Women at Sundance, emphasized the unique nature of the Momentum Fellowship in addressing the challenges faced by artists even after achieving early success. The program stands out for its personalized approach to supporting the growth of diverse and talented storytellers through mentorship and community building.

Since its inception in 2018, the Momentum Fellowship has expanded to serve a wider range of underrepresented communities, including women, nonbinary, transgender individuals, Black, Indigenous, people of color, and artists with disabilities. Notable previous fellows include a range of accomplished artists such as Minhal Baig and A.V. Rockwell.

The 2024 Momentum fellows represent a diverse group of mid-career artists with significant achievements:

  • Aitch Alberto, a writer-director from Miami, recognized for her work on "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe."
  • Raven Jackson, a Tennessee-based filmmaker, poet, and photographer whose debut feature "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt" received critical acclaim.
  • Savanah Leaf, a former Olympian turned filmmaker, celebrated for her directorial debut "Earth Mama."
  • Sing J. Lee, an award-winning writer-director who won the 2023 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Directing Award.
  • Laura Moss, a New York City filmmaker known for her debut feature "birth/rebirth" and the short film "Fry Day."
  • A.V. Rockwell, whose directorial debut "A Thousand and One" won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
  • D. Smith, a Grammy-nominated artist and director of the documentary "Kokomo City."
  • Erica Tremblay, a filmmaker from the Seneca-Cayuga Nation, acclaimed for her feature film "Fancy Dance."

The fellowship receives support from various organizations, highlighting the Sundance Institute's commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive film industry.