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Skoll Foundation Extends Partnership With Sundance Documentary Film Program

by Philanthropy News Digest

The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP) and the Skoll Foundation have announced the extension of the Stories of Change: Social Entrepreneurship in Focus Through Documentary initiative through 2013.

Launched in 2007, Stories of Change has helped nearly a hundred filmmakers and social entrepreneurs through a strategic combination of invited gatherings and documentary film project funding. Convenings at the Sundance Film Festival, the Skoll World Forum, the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Summit, and related gatherings have led to the creation of a network of learning and professional exchange for documentary filmmakers, change-makers, and their stakeholders. On Tuesday, Skoll announced a $1 million grant to continue the initiative through 2013.

The partnership between the foundation and Sundance also has made possible the production of ten feature-length documentary films that reframe and amplify the concept of social entrepreneurship — an innovative approach to the central issues of our time. The additional funds granted to the institute will provide continued support for these ten films and help extend their impact through the development and implementation of story-related strategies that engage short-form, interactive, mobile, social media, and other Web-based technologies.

On September 19, DFP and Skoll will co-host the first Stories of Change Story and Impact Workshop at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. Sessions and presentations by DFP personnel, documentary filmmakers, and media advisors will create a framework for defining and articulating entrepreneurs’ personal and organizational stories. A select group of Skoll-funded social entrepreneurs also has been invited to participate.

“The Stories of Change partnership has resulted in inspiring collaborations between leading documentary filmmakers and social entrepreneurs, including feature documentary films, presentations and consultancies, which forefront the power of storytelling to transform understanding and motivate people towards change,” said Cara Mertes, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. “The continued collaboration will focus on storytelling, social entrepreneurship and impact, as we see the efforts of social entrepreneurs and storytellers inspire advancement around the world.”

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