×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kim Yutani Tapped as Sundance’s Director of Programming

Sundance Institute has selected veteran executive Kim Yutani​ as the Sundance Film Festival’s new director of programming.

She replaces Trevor Groth, the festival’s longtime director of programming, who departed in January to join the 30West finance-production company in February.

Yutani has extensive experience in expanding the Sundance brand outside the United States. She will lead the curation of film, media, and off-screen programming at both the Sundance Film Festival and other year-round public platforms and programs that showcase independent storytellers and artists. She was formerly senior programmer and will report directly to festival director John Cooper​.

Sundance made the announcement Monday night. Yutani, who is currently traveling to the Cannes Film Festival, assumes her new duties immediately.

In a memo distributed to staff, Cooper​ said, “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. She’ll now helm an incredibly talented team of curators and programmers, and I predict that our Festival slates will further deepen and broaden the reach of independent artists and stories in fiction and nonfiction.”

Yutani​ said, “My approach as a programmer has always been driven by an empathetic inquisitiveness, a desire to see the world from as many points of view as possible — and I’m so excited to collaborate with Cooper and our team, with their myriad strengths and backgrounds, to surface new artists and voices.”

Yutani began programming short films at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006. In 2009, she became a feature film
programmer, focusing on US and international fiction feature films, overseeing short film programming, and working on the festival’s offscreen series of panels and conversations. She was instrumental in the creation of Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong, which she also programs.

During her tenure at the Institute, she has represented Sundance internationally by serving on juries, speaking on panels, and working to cultivate relationships with film commissions, industry, and artists around the world. For the past five years, she has also overseen a new collaboration with the Berlinale’s European Film Market — housed within the Sundance Film Festival at EFM program — which has provided exposure and sales opportunities for Sundance films, immediately after premiering at the Festival.

She started her programming career at Outfest Los Angeles, where she was the artistic director and the director of programming. She is currently a programming consultant for the Provincetown International Film Festival. She got her start in the industry as director Gregg Araki’s assistant.

Keri Putnam​, executive director of Sundance Institute, said, “Kim rose to the top among an outstanding field ofcandidates because of her creativity, programming experience, and collaborative approach to leadership. 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.”

More Film

  • 'Invisibles' Director Louis-Julien Petit On His

    'Invisibles' Director Louis-Julien Petit on his Socially-Minded Smash

    PARIS —  Far from a dumping ground, the months of January and February have become synonymous in France with the kinds of highly polished crowd-pleasing comedies that dominate the annual box-office. This year is no exception, only nestled among the likely blockbusters “Serial Bad Weddings 2” and “City Hunter” is Louis-Julien Petit’s socially minded dramedy [...]

  • "The Continent," directed by Chinese racer

    Alibaba Pictures Buys Into Chinese Director Han Han's Film Studio

    Alibaba Pictures has invested an undisclosed amount in Chinese celebrity blogger-turned film director Han Han’s Shanghai Tingdong Film, it confirmed to Variety Thursday. Han’s upcoming “Pegasus” is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Alibaba Pictures, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is now the second-largest stakeholder in Tingdong. It has a 13.1% stake, according [...]

  • Nicolas Philibert Talks Nursing Documentary 'Each

    Nicolas Philibert: 'A Director Driven To Make A Statement Cannot Make Cinema'

    PARIS  — For over two decades, French documentarian Nicolas Philibert has examined his country’s various public institutions with a watchmaker’s calm and anthropologist’s curiosity. In films like “To Be and To Have,” “La Maison de la Radio” and “Louvre City,” he’s taken his camera into schoolhouses, broadcast hubs and the world’s most famous museum. His [...]

  • 'Don't Come Back from the Moon'

    Film Review: 'Don't Come Back from the Moon'

    Cinematographer-turned-director Bruce Thierry Cheung offers an artful and affecting mix of harshly defined specifics and impressionistic storytelling in “Don’t Come Back from the Moon,” a cumulatively poignant drama about absent fathers and abandoned families in an economically devastated desert community. Structured more like a tone poem than a conventional narrative, it’s an elliptical memory play [...]

  • Carlos Almaraz Playing With Fire review

    Palm Springs Review: 'Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire'

    Though he passed away three decades ago, Carlos Almaraz’s reputation as a major American painter — which was just getting started when he died of AIDS in 1989 — promises to continue to gain traction with the years. Documentary tribute “Playing With Fire” by his fellow-artist widow Elsa Flores and Richard Montoya mostly transcends standard [...]

  • Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano's 'The Specials'

    Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano's 'The Specials' Already a Gaumont Sales Hit (EXCLUSIVE)

    Following the widely successful “C’est La Vie,” Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s (“The Intouchables”) passion project “The Specials” (“Hors normes”) starring Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb, has already lured major buyers in key territories. Gaumont, which delivered the largest number of French B.O. hits overseas in 2018, has pre-sold “The Specials” to Germany, Austria (Prokino), [...]

  • The Realm review

    Palm Springs Review: 'The Realm'

    The notion that government is one big con directing money into already well-lined pockets is confirmed and then some in “The Realm.” Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “Michael Clayton”-like thriller has struck a chord in Spain, where the persistence of corruption in the post-Franco era is a popular topic bordering on obsession. But are examples of corruption just [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content