LOCAL NEWS

Joana Vicente steps down as Sundance Institute CEO

Mar 23, 2024, 11:29 AM

FILE - Joana Vicente attends the 2024 Sundance Film Festival's Opening Night Gala on Jan. 18, 2024,...

FILE - Joana Vicente attends the 2024 Sundance Film Festival's Opening Night Gala on Jan. 18, 2024, in Kamas, Utah. Vicente is stepping down as the CEO of the Sundance Institute, the nonprofit behind the annual Sundance Film Festival, after two and a half years. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

AP–Joana Vicente is stepping down as the CEO of the Sundance Institute, the nonprofit behind the annual Sundance Film Festival, after two and a half years.

“She has been a true advocate for independent storytellers, and I know she will continue to positively impact this community,” said Sundance Institute Board Chair Ebs Burnough in a statement released Friday.

Vicente oversaw some of the Sundance Institute’s most challenging years during the pandemic, when the festival went virtual and later came back as a hybrid version.

Amanda Kelso, a member of the board, has been appointed acting CEO, the organization said.

Kelso will transition into the role in April and Vicente will continue to advise through June. She comes to the position with 25 years of experience in communications and technology, including serving as the managing director of Google Creative Lab.

“I believe in the power of Sundance and its ongoing impact in nurturing our mission-based work,” Kelso said in a statement.

40 years later, the mission of the Sundance Film Festival remains the same

The Sundance Institute runs programs year round for emerging artists, including directing and screenwriting labs and other artist programs that have helped filmmakers like Ryan Coogler, Chloé Zhao, the Daniels, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Darren Aronofsky and Nia DaCosta early in their careers.

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Joana Vicente steps down as Sundance Institute CEO