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Sundance’s Indigenous program has new leader

Adam Piron (Kiowa and Mohawk tribes). Courtesy Sundance Institute.

The Sundance Institute has named Adam Piron as the new director of its Indigenous program. The organization made the announcement in a news release March 3.

Piron (Kiowa and Mohawk tribes) has worked as a staff member in the program for many years and succeeds former director Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache), according to the release.

Sundance is well known for its annual film festival. It was founded in 1981 by Robert Redford and has expanded into the operation of film labs, grant distribution, and the development of mentorship programs in film, theater and digital media.

The Indigenous program has coordinated an “Indigenous film circle,” for more than four generations, the release said. The program looks for Indigenous artists and provides support so work can be produced and distributed for audiences to see. The program spearheads the Institute’s “Native Lab” and also offers the Merata Mita and Full Circle fellowships.

“It’s been a privilege to collaborate with colleagues in devising ways to support Indigenous storytellers at every stage in their career,” Piron said in the release. “I look forward to leading this work with heart, vision and experience.”

Piron is also a cofounder of Cousin, a film collective that supports Indigenous artists, and was previously the film curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Piron earned a degree in film production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Additionally, Piron serves on the editorial advisory board of Seen, a journal that examines the visual culture of communities of color and features interviews, reviews and essays featuring Indigenous artists. He also serves on the Indigenous advisory board for TIFF – the Toronto International Film Festival.

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