The Sundance Institute has recently announced the participants selected for their 2023 Momentum Fellowship program, which is specifically designed to support and provide coaching to mid-career artists with a focus on career development. This program was launched in 2018 and aims to support storytellers from historically marginalized communities who have recently achieved noteworthy accomplishments, such as a highly regarded feature film or series. The fellowship offers customized support to fellows for a full year, which includes an unrestricted artist grant, professional coaching, and year-round support from the Sundance Institute staff, among other benefits.
The eligible artists for the Momentum Fellowship include those identifying as women, non-binary, and/or transgender, Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, as well as artists with disabilities.
This year, the program has selected eight fellows, seven of whom are women. These include Francisca Alegria with “The Cow Who Sang A Song Into the Future,” Rita Baghdadi with “Sirens,” Michelle Garza with “Huesera,” Nikyatu Jusu with “Nanny,” Kate Tsang with “Marvelous and the Black Hole,” Charlotte Wells with “Aftersun,” and Violet du Feng with “Hidden Letters.”
According to Michelle Satter, Sundance’s founding Senior Director of Artist Programs, the fellows selected for the Momentum program have all experienced success with their recently completed projects, making it a critical moment for artists to receive creative and tactical support as they focus on their next steps. The fellowship is uniquely customized to the needs of individual filmmakers, ensuring that they can sustain a career that offers timely creative opportunities.
Several notable past fellows of the program include Cristina Costantini with “Mucho Mucho Amor,” Ekwa Msangi with “Farewell Amor,” and Christina Choe with “Nancy.”
The Sundance Institute has chosen eight fellows for their 2023 Momentum Fellowship, which offers career development support and coaching to mid-career artists. The fellowship is designed to support historically marginalized communities, including women, non-binary and/or transgender individuals, Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, and artists with disabilities. The selected fellows include Francisca Alegria, Rita Baghdadi, Michelle Garza, Nikyatu Jusu, Bing Liu, Kate Tsang, Charlotte Wells, and Violet du Feng.
Francisca Alegria is an award-winning filmmaker known for her short film And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye and debut feature The Cow Who Sang A Song Into the Future, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022.
Rita Baghdadi is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker whose latest feature, Sirens, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest.
Michelle Garza is a director and screenwriter whose debut feature Huesera premiered at Tribeca 2022 and won the Best New Narrative Director and the Nora Ephron awards.
Nikyatu Jusu is a writer and director whose first feature film, Nanny, won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Her follow-up original feature film screenplay was acquired by Universal Studios and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions.
Bing Liu is a China-born filmmaker who has directed Minding the Gap, America To Me, and All These Sons. He is currently developing his first fiction feature, which was supported by the Sundance Institute’s 2020 Directors and Screenwriters Lab.
Kate Tsang is an artist and filmmaker whose debut feature, Marvelous and the Black Hole, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. She has also written on the Emmy-nominated shows Adventure Time: Distant Lands and Steven Universe Future.
Charlotte Wells is a Scottish filmmaker whose debut feature, Aftersun, won awards at the Cannes Film Festival. She was supported by the Sundance Institute’s 2020 Directors and Screenwriters Labs.
Violet du Feng is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker who has directed, produced, or executive produced 13 films, including Hidden Letters, which premiered at Tribeca and was supported by the Sundance Documentary Film Program.