Sundance Institute announced today that FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue, a program that promotes cultural dialogue through independent documentary and narrative film, is travelling from March 15 to 22, 2012 to five locations in India: Mumbai, New Delhi, Aligarh, Gurgaon and Noida. Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd and the American Center in New Delhi, in collaboration with Taj Enlighten Film Society and Whistling Woods International, will present the FILM FORWARD program which includes 10 films, filmmaker appearances and workshops at multiple venues in the five cities. All FILM FORWARD screenings are free of charge for University students and the general public.

FILM FORWARD is an initiative of Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. A full schedule of FILM FORWARD screenings and events in India along with a complete list of outreach partners is available at

“It is exciting to expand our relationships with the vibrant community in India as we mount this multi faceted cinematic program,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. “Together with our FILM FORWARD collaborators at Mumbai Mantra and the American Center in New Delhi, we hope to continue building cultural bridges which encourage discourse, the creation of new ideas and a meaningful cross-cultural dialogue.”

Filmmakers Asif Kapadia (Senna) and Linda Goldstein Knowlton (Somewhere Between) will be in attendance to participate in Q&As, discussions, workshops and meet-and-greet events with the different communities in the select destinations in India (complete schedule attached).

Sundance Institute’s Meredith Lavitt, Associate Director, FILM FORWARD; Jacqueline Carlson, Manager, FILM FORWARD; and Joseph Beyer, Director of Digital Initiatives will be in attendance.<

A consortium of local cultural and government organizations will support the FILM FORWARD initiative in India including: Taj Enlighten Film Society, Whistling Woods International, Aligarh Muslim University, Amity University, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Epicenter Gurgaon, FICCI Frames, Habitat World at India Habitat Center, Hauz Khas Village, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The films participating in the FILM FORWARD program represent a powerful exploration of universal themes that provide an avenue for greater cultural understanding. All 10 films collectively illustrate coming-of-age stories, explore identity and reveal the transformation process, both political and personal. Somewhere Between follows the story of four Chinese-American girls struggling with their Identity as they grow into young women, and Senna follows the life of legendary Formula One driver, Ayrton Senna who became a national treasure and symbol of success for Brazil. On the Ice navigates the rocky landscape of adolescence; The Green Wave depicts the challenges and resourcefulness of a country and people in conflict; Beginners explores the relationship between father and son and the endurance of love; Unfinished Spaces shows the collision between art and politics; Grbavica reveals the scars of war as a mother and daughter struggle through post-war Sarajevo and ultimately the strength of family; Bran Nue Dae is a musical coming of age story told from the Australian outback; Buck, the story of Buck Brannaman and his extraordinary work with horses, and Another Earth about the lives of two strangers whose lives become intertwined after the discovery of a duplicate Earth.

A total of 10 films and filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad were selected by Sundance Institute and the partners to participate in the 2012 FILM FORWARD program, traveling to four domestic and five international locations. Filmmakers participate in screenings, extended Q&As, workshops, and master classes at Universities, film and cultural centers, museums, libraries and other community, educational, and cultural venues cultivating engaged dialogue, fostering appreciation of other viewpoints, and developing new audiences for independent film.