PARK CITY, Utah – The Sundance Institute and RKO Pictures Inc. have jointly announced a landmark commitment of $100,000 over four years to support the institute through the creation of an annual RKO fellowship at the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab. The money will go to underwriting the participation of one filmmaker in each year’s lab, and the fellowship will start this summer. To celebrate the endowment, RKO chairman and CEO Ted Hartley and Kenneth Brecher, the executive director of Sundance, will host a reception at Cafe Mercate Mediterraneo in Park City Friday afternoon.

Other RKO efforts include the Hartley-Merrill prize for screenwriting and the Story Project, a program in partnership with the WGA/West which encourages literacy and verbal communication among inner-city youth through story writing. In addition to Hartley, RKO’s president of production, Robert O’Connor, and exec VP Art Horan will be in Park City meeting with filmmakers.

“RKO has always stood for great stories and finely crafted screenplays,” Hartley said. “When people think of RKO, they think of legends like Orson Welles, Ben Hecht and Frank Mankiewicz. And we are thrilled to reaffirm our support of Sundance.”

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