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Highlights

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WATCH: Be a Fly on the Wall for a Conversation Between Robert Redford and Michelle Satter 

Nearly ten years ago, nestled in the snowy mountains of Utah, Michelle Satter, Founding Senior Director, Artist Programs, sat down with Robert Redford to revisit how he developed his vision for Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival. 

“The moment I stepped foot at Sundance, I felt that incredible spirit of creativity and a sense of community and family of creators and that sort of sense of generosity,” Satter says to Redford in the video below.    

During the conversation, Redford fondly remembers when experienced advisors donated their time to mentor fellows after launching the Institute’s first lab in 1981.   

“Humility and generosity, to me, kind of go together, so that turned out to be true, and I think that’s one of the reasons the lab has succeeded. 

“[The lab] was producing in terms that we were developing the skills of the artists, but that’s when we realized there’s no place for them to go because the mainstream was not allowing that space,” Redford continues. “That led to the idea of a Festival, so at least they would gather once a year, look at each other’s work, and maybe, if we were lucky, somebody else would come. Well, after five, six years, somebody did come.”  

Satter, who was honored last night with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 14th Governors Awards, has worked for years to carry out Redford’s mission. She’s helped foster the careers of some of the industry’s most notable filmmakers, many from underrepresented communities.

“When you talk about your vision around risk-taking and the idea that failure is part of a process, you brought that to the lab, and that is so rare,” says Satter to Redford. “Your vision of a process sort of existed nowhere, and it’s become a model.”    

Check out the video below to listen to the entire conversation, which includes how Robert Redford fell in love with Utah, and join us as we congratulate Michelle Satter for being the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

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THE CONVERSATION