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Sundance Film Festival ups Kim Yutani to programming director

The Sundance Institute has appointed long-time executive Kim Yutani as director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival, effective immediately. With the post, Yutani (pictured) will be responsible for leading the ...
May 8, 2018

The Sundance Institute has appointed long-time executive Kim Yutani as director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival, effective immediately.

With the post, Yutani (pictured) will be responsible for leading the curation of film, media and off-screen programming for the Park City, Utah-set festival and its year-round public platforms and programs.

She reports directly to festival director John Cooper.

Yutani, who previously served as senior programmer, replaces Trevor Groth in the role. Groth exited the festival in January in favor of production financier firm 30West in February.

“Kim’s curatorial vision combines a voracious appetite for films across genres with a creative instinct for the work that will affect audiences and culture,” said Cooper in a statement. “I predict that our Festival slates will further deepen and broaden the reach of independent artists and stories in fiction and non-fiction.”

Yutani began programming shorts for the Sundance Film Festival in 2006 and was promoted to feature film programmer three years later, with a focus on U.S. and international fiction feature films. In that post, she oversaw short film programming and worked on the festival’s Offscreen series of panels and conversations. Additionally, she played a key role in the creation of Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong, which she also programs.

Over the past five years, Yutani has led a new collaborative effort with the Berlinale’s European Film Market, which has provided exposure and sales opportunities for Sundance films, immediately after premiering at the festival.

Yutani began programming with leading LGBT festival Outfest Los Angeles, where she served as artistic director and director of programming.

“Kim rose to the top among an outstanding field of candidates because of her creativity, programming experience, and collaborative approach to leadership,” added Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam. “I am excited to see how she’ll execute her vision, make the role her own, and — together with the entire programming team — shape the Festival for the years to come.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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