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Sundance Institute Announces Sundance Film Festival: Asia to Launch in Indonesia

Created in partnership with XRM Media, the inaugural festival will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Egyptian Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. Credit: Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Sundance Institute and XRM Media announced today a collaboration to create Sundance Film Festival: Asia. The goal of the new festival is to support, connect, promote and celebrate the independent film community within Asia while showcasing a selection of films from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Sundance Film Festival: Asia is an expansion of the Institute’s programming in the region, further championing and promoting visibility for independent storytelling before a wider global audience.

The first edition will take place in late summer 2021 and be hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia with support from IDN Media, Indonesia’s leading media platform company. According to the announcement, future editions will expand to other Asian cities which will rotate hosting duties. The programming, to be curated by Sundance, will consist of selections from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Other programming will include a delegation of filmmakers (travel and public health permitting), new Sundance Lab initiatives for Asian talent in collaboration with XRM Media, as well as Sundance Co//ab experiences designed specifically for the territory.

“We have long wanted to deepen our connection to the bold and vibrant energy of Asian independent filmmaking,” said Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson in a statement. “The opportunity to work more closely with the community of filmmakers and audiences in Indonesia through a collaboration with XRM Media makes this first year of Sundance Film Festival: Asia a very exciting prospect.”

Based in Burbank, California, XRM Media is a digital media company with ties to Asian markets. In addition to its first acquisition of Paper Magazine and its subsidiaries, XRM owns IDN Media, an Indonesian news and entertainment company with 13 million monthly visitors that is supporting the new venture.

“Indonesia is an emerging film market, and we are committed to bring the strength of the Institute to help develop and showcase Asian talent to the indie community,” XRM Media co-founder Michael Y. Chow said in a statement.

IDN Media head Winston Utomo added: “We are very excited to bring the 2021 Sundance Film Festival: Asia for the first time to Indonesia. We truly believe that this historic festival would be an important momentum for the film industry in Asia, especially for filmmakers and film enthusiasts in Indonesia, to connect and collaborate with filmmakers around the world.”


By Jude Dry for IndieWire, March 11, 2021

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