The year-round programme aims to support women artists in creating bold new work in film and media.
The Sundance Institute, the nonprofit arm of the organisation that puts on the annual Sundance Film Festival, has announced the recipients of its 2021 Women at Sundance Adobe Fellowship.
The annual programme will spotlight eight artists working across disciplines including two Arab filmmakers: Meryam Joobeur and Malika Zouhali-Worrall.
Other women include McKenzie Chinn, Melody Cooper, Deborah Esquenazi, Cris Gris, Rajal Pitroda, and Shaandiin Tome.
Malika Zouhali-Worrall is a British/Afro-Arab filmmaker based in New York. An Emmy Award-winning director, her directing credits include the feature-length documentaries, Call Me Kuchu (Berlinale, Netflix, BBC World, 2012) and Thank You For Playing (Tribeca, POV/ITVS, News & Television Emmy Award, 2015), the web series Earn A Living (ARTE, IDFA, 2018), and the PBS American Masters short film, Strange Grace: The Art of Amyra León (2020). In 2021, Malika completed her fifth short, Video Visit, which will be released by Field of Vision, and screen at BAM Cinemafest and Blackstar. Malika was a 2020 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellow.
Meryam Joobeur is an Academy Award nominated Tunisian director, based in Montréal, Canada. Her work includes both documentary and fiction. Her short films Gods, Weeds and Revolutions (2012) and Born in the Maelstrom (2017), starring Sasha Lane, screened internationally. Her academy nominated Short Brotherhood (2018) screened at 150+ festivals and won 75 international prizes.
She is co-owner of the Tunisia based production company, Instinct Bleu, with producer Sarra Ben Hassen and is currently developing her first feature project Motherhood. She is a 2021 Sundance Institute January Screenwriters Lab Fellow.
The year-round programme is designed to foster community, further craft, and support women artists creating bold new work in film and media, prioritising support for filmmakers from historically underrepresented communities.
The programme offers a full year of comprehensive support with custom-tailored mentorship from Sundance Institute and Adobe executives, skill-building workshops in the fall and spring, ongoing coaching, a $6,250 cash grant, and a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Fellows will also receive introductions to key industry contacts and creative advisors, referrals to specific career and development opportunities, and participate in quarterly group calls to share progress and learnings. Each fellow is also participating in a Sundance Institute Lab or programme aligning with their career path.
Michelle Satter, Founding Senior Director, Artist Programmes, said: “We’re excited to announce our new group of cross-disciplinary artists, supporting storytellers working in documentary, fiction and episodic formats. This year-long fellowship will provide bespoke professional and creative development designed to advance their singular projects and burgeoning careers.”
Ann Lewnes, Adobe CMO and EVP, Corporate Strategy & Development and member of the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees, added: “Women have been noticeably under-represented in creative fields like film-making—indeed, this year we were delighted to see Chloe Zhao be one of only two female directors to win an Oscar—and Adobe is committed to help address this. I’m incredibly proud of the ways Adobe is helping to advance the role of women in film through our support of programmes like the 2021 Women at Sundance fellowship.”