Award-Winning Black Filmmaker is Named as Director of the Sundance Film Festival - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Sundance Institute announced that Tabitha Jackson has been appointed as the new director of the Sundance Film Festival. She’s taking over the role occupied by John Cooper, who has been in that position for the last 11 years. He will now serve in the newly-created Emeritus Director role.

Jackson, who is an award-winning filmmaker, has been the director of the Institute’s Documentary Film Program for the last six years. She will now oversee the Festival’s overall vision and strategy. She is the first woman to become the festival director at Sundance.

“It gives me immense pleasure to announce, Tabitha Jackson, as the new Director of the Sundance Film Festival,” said Sundance Institute’s Executive Director Keri Putnam in a written statement. “Tabitha is fiercely devoted to independent artists, has been a visionary member of the Sundance Institute’s leadership team for the last 6 years. Her authenticity, experience and perspective will serve her well in leading the Festival forward as a beacon for independent artists and audiences.”

Before joining Sundance, Jackson had been working in arts and entertainment for more than 25 years as an award-winning filmmaker. She also served as the head of Arts and Performance at Channel 4 Television in London and has executive produced a number of projects for the UK’s Film 4 including Mark Cousins’ cinematic odyssey The Story of Film, Clio Barnard’s formally experimental The Arbor, Sophie Fiennes’ essay The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, Bart Layton’s thriller The Imposter, and Iain and Jane’s innovative Nick Cave biography 20,000 Days on Earth.

“It is exciting to be amplifying the voices and work of independent artists in these challenging and fast-changing times,'” said Jackson. “My role, working with a team at the top of their game, will be to ensure that the festival remains as effective, vital and transformational in the years going forward as it has been in the past — and to make sure that we have fun doing it. I can’t wait to get started.”

“I founded Sundance Institute with the clear mission of celebrating and supporting independent artists, said Sundance Institute Founder Robert Redford, “and the Festival is the platform where we can showcase their stories. As we approach our fortieth anniversary, I’m pleased to have Tabitha lead us as we move into the future and meet the next generation of artists and their stories.”