The nonprofit global arts organization Sundance Institute and the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado announced today that the Stanley Hotel will host the Institute’s signature Directors Lab in 2024 with support from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). For over four decades, Sundance Institute labs have brought together promising new independent storytellers with accomplished artists to develop new work and build a long-lasting, vibrant community.
The Directors Lab nurtures diverse, original voices through an immersive filmmaking experience over two to three weeks every summer. Connected to nature, the lab creates a safe, inclusive space for first-time feature directors to rehearse, shoot, and edit scenes that will build their skills working with actors, exploring text, and finding the visual language and aesthetic for their films.
For over 40 years, the Directors Lab has taken place in the founding location of the Sundance Resort in Utah. Next year, the lab will relocate to Colorado while construction in outdoor areas and primary shooting locations takes place to enhance the Sundance property.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to bring the Directors Lab to the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. In identifying a host for our Directors Lab, it was essential to find a space that was surrounded by nature for artists to create, had multiple environments for shooting, and could be an environment where artists could leave behind the distractions of everyday life and immerse themselves in their projects. We are deeply grateful to both the Stanley Hotel and the state of Colorado for welcoming the Directors Lab to Colorado,” said Michelle Satter, founding senior director of artist programs at Sundance Institute.
“We are pleased to welcome the Sundance Institute’s Directors Lab to Colorado in 2024. The Stanley Hotel and Estes Park will provide inspiring backdrops for this prestigious workshop and showcase the many resources our state offers the film industry, including the unparalleled natural beauty of filming locations,” said Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman.
“The Stanley is very pleased to continue its long tradition of supporting the arts and honored to have Sundance and all of their creative partners here,” said John Cullen, owner of the iconic hotel since 1996. “I look forward to hosting and seeing what happens when hundreds of such talented people come together to the Colorado mountains to share their skills and experiences in such a collaborative environment.”
Sundance Institute Labs for emerging artists take place throughout the year at locations across the country. In addition to the Directors Lab at the Stanley Hotel, the following labs will take place in 2024: the January Screenwriters Lab and Episodic Lab at the Sundance Resort in Utah, the Native Lab in New Mexico, the Ignite Lab at MASS MoCA in Massachusetts, and the Producers Lab at UCross Foundation in Wyoming.
The Directors Lab is an essential component of the year-round Feature Film Program (FFP), which also includes the January Screenwriters Lab, March Screenwriters Intensive, June Screenwriters Lab, Producers Lab, and year-long fellowships, granting, and a continuum of customized support. The labs have supported many of the leading and award-winning artists who have defined the independent film ecosystem, including A.V. Rockwell (A Thousand and One), Charlotte Wells (Aftersun), Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me), Sterlin Harjo (Four Sheets to the Wind), Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball), The Daniels (Swiss Army Man), Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Paul Thomas Anderson (Hard Eight), and Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs) among many others.
The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program is supported by explore.org, a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; The Asian American Foundation (TAAF); United Airlines; Hartbeat; The Walt Disney Company; Maja Kristin; Kimberly Steward—K Period Media; NBCUniversal; Golden Globe Foundation; Ray and Dagmar Dolby Fund; National Endowment for the Arts; NHK/NHK Enterprises, Inc.; Levantine Films; Max Rifkind-Barron; Directors Guild of America; T-Street Productions; Rosalie Swedlin and Robert Cort; Deborah Reinisch and Michael Theodore Fund; Octavia Spencer; Scott and Jennifer Frank.