[The Classroom] Becoming Sundance: The Development of America’s Premiere Film Festival

As June is the month of the Sundance Directors Lab, the writers of The Film Stage saw this as being an appropriate moment to reflect back upon the early days of all things Sundance.The Sundance Film Festival occupies an interesting space in history, as it was the first film festival to focus specifically on American film, and it helped to escalate the American independent film movement. In 2009, the Sundance Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary, showcasing reflective trailers with images dating back to 1985. What is interesting about this is that the festival had actually started in 1978, and 1985 simply reflects the year in which the Sundance Institute took over its management. One might assume that in this take over was also a name change, and that 1985 reflects when it became known as Sundance. However, it was not actually renamed the Sundance Film Festival until after the 1990 festival, so the fact that
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