Longtime Sundance Institute staffer Adam Piron has been named as the Director of its Indigenous Program. Piron will will lead Sundance’s engagement and investment in global Indigenous storytellers, taking over a role that Bird Runningwater left several months ago. While handling his new responsibilities, he will continue to serve as a short film programmer for the Sundance Film Festival.
The Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program has built and sustained an Indigenous film circle, which now spans over four generations. Its cycle of work begins with the scouting and identifying of indigenous artists, continuing on to provide a year-round support system at Sundance Institute to get their work made and shown, before bringing the filmmakers and their work back to Native lands. Sundance’s Native Lab has been a vital part of supporting Indigenous filmmakers since 2004, with the Merata Mita and Full Circle Fellowships offering further support to emerging Indigenous voices.
“It’s been a privilege to collaborate with colleagues in devising ways to support Indigenous storytellers at every stage in their career,” said Piron. “I look forward to leading this work with heart, vision and experience.”
“Adam’s unflagging commitment to Indigenous artists and his vision of how best to bring their stories to life, has long been a source of inspiration for the Institute,” added the Founding Senior Director of the Institute’s Artist Program, Michelle Satter.
Piron belongs to the Kiowa and Mohawk Tribes and was raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He previously served as the Indigenous Program’s Interim Director, Associate Director and Program Manager and before that served as the film curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, having received his BA in Film Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Piron is a co-founder of COUSIN, a film collective dedicated to supporting Indigenous artists experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of the moving image. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Seen, a journal produced by BlackStar examining the visual culture of communities of color, featuring interviews, reviews and essays about Black, Brown and Indigenous visual culture. He concurrently serves on the Board of Trustees and Programming Committee of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar as well as on the Indigenous Advisory Board for TIFF. He has also been on advisory panels for Canyon Cinema, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, The Princess Grace Awards and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Sundance Institute is the champion and curator of independent stories behind the Sundance Film Festival. Its Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally.
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