John Cooper
John Salangsang/Variety/Shutterstock
United States



Sundance Film Festival director since 2009, Cooper has held key roles in the esteemed Park City hot ticket, having started in 1989 as a festival programmer and adapting as the business around art-house film changed. As he took the top slot, the DVD industry was collapsing, depriving companies of a major source of revenue. Studios were also shuttering their indie labels, becoming less interested in backing edgy or commercially risky projects. Now Cooper leads Sundance’s programming and strategic-growth operations, overseeing activities such as content production, online initiatives and key national and international partnerships. When he became director, Robert Redford himself lauded Cooper for achieving the festival’s ever-consistent goals: supporting up-and-coming artists and inspiring new audiences.


  • Sundance Institute
  • Sundance Film Festival


  • San Diego State University (CA, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper Stepping Down

Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper Stepping Down

Longtime Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper will resign his post after next year's gathering in Utah.After an 11-year run shepherding the Robert Redford-founded gathering in Park City, Utah, Cooper will move to an emeritus director role being created for him. This January will mark his 30th consecutive festival.The new role will focus on special projects and oversight of the forthcoming 40th anniversary of the Sundance Institute, which will be marked in 2021.  Cooper's replacement search is currently underway, led...


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