Back at Sundance Film Festival to start 2023

Back at Sundance Film Festival to start 2023


Back at Sundance Film Festival to start 2023


Susan, Albie, and Alex were back in Park City this January for the return to in-person Sundance Film Festival and as always is was both exhausting and exhilarating!

We wanted to share some of our favorite films from the festival so you can keep an eye out for when the films are released!

Based on true events, Radical shines a light on the incredible potential children can manifest when an innovative teacher empowers them to think for themselves. Starring the incredible Eugenio Derbez as the inspirational teacher Sergio Juarez, who won’t give up on the sixth grade students at an elementary school in Matamoros, Mexico.


Based on the 2013 memoir, the film tells the story of Alysia (played by Emilia Jones of CODA) who is uprooted by her father following the death of her mother in hopes of restarting his life in 1970s San Fransisco, and their complex father-daughter relationship.


A Thousand and One
Writer/Director A.V. Rockwell’s feature debut tells the story of a mother living in 1990s New York City who kidnaps her 6-year-old son out of foster care so they can build a life together.



Polite Society
In this British action comedy, Ria Khan believes that she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. After enlisting her friends’ help, she attempts to pull off the most ambitious of wedding heists, while pursuing her dream of becoming a stunt double.


Deep Rising
Narrated by Jason Momoa, Deep Rising uses stunning underwater photography and fly-on-the-wall access to a deep sea mining extraction company to question the electric battery revolution.



The Persian Version
An uplifting and engrossing comedy-drama, the film tells the story of Leila and her Iranian American family with seven brothers and her struggles to connect with her mother.



Kim’s Video
This playful heist documentary investigates the origins of many cinephile’s favorite NYC video store, Kim’s Video, and the fate of the collection after it closed.

Sundance Film Festival – an inspiring start to 2020

Sundance Film Festival – an inspiring start to 2020


Sundance Film Festival – an inspiring start to 2020


Alex, Sean, Susan at Sundance 2020

We look forward to going to Sundance every January – even the years when it snows so much it takes twice as long to get anywhere! The Shine Global team meets with others working in the film for impact space, funders, distributors, and most especially amazing filmmakers – all working to make the world a better place through the power of film. The week is both exhausting and exhilarating and we bring that inspiration back with us to our work at Shine Global.

One of the best parts of Sundance is of course the HBO Docs party – just kidding! It’s the movies! We get to hear and see many new voices for the first time and we wanted to share some of our favorites so you can be on the lookout for them when they are playing in your community or are released in theaters/online. (listed In no particular order)

The Truffle HuntersThe Truffle Hunters
Deep in the forests of Northern Italy resides the prized white Alba truffle. Desired by the wealthiest patrons in the world, it remains a pungent but rarified mystery. It cannot be cultivated or found, even by the most resourceful of modern excavators. The only souls on Earth who know how to dig it up are a tiny circle of canines and their silver-haired human companions—Italian elders with walking sticks and devilish senses of humor—who only scour for the truffle at night so as not to leave any clues for others.
Sony Pictures Classics snapped up this film – so it will be coming to theaters across the US.

The doc, which is the first Kenyan-produced movie to premiere at Sundance, will air as part of the POV’s 33rd season, which kicks off on PBS in June.
The doc follows political activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi, who decides to run for office after years of fighting injustice in Kenya. While campaigning, Mwangi begins to realize the difficulty of combating his corrupt opponents with idealism alone, and soon finds that challenging the country’s entrenched political dynasties is putting his family at risk. The daring and audacious activist is then forced to decide if country really comes before family, as he’s always believed.

The Reason I JumpThe Reason I Jump
This Audience Award winning Documentary is an immersive cinematic experience of nonspeaking autistic people across the world, The Reason I Jump is based on a book written by Naoki Higashida when he was just 13. The film follows a young Japanese boy on a journey through an epic landscape. As a maelstrom of thoughts, feelings, impulses, and memories affects his every action, he gradually discovers what his autism means to him, how his perception of the world differs from others’, and why he acts the way he does—the reason he jumps.


Acasa My HomeAcasa, My Home
won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography
For two decades, the Enache family—nine kids and their parents—lived in a shack in the wilderness of Bucharest Delta: an abandoned water reservoir, one of the biggest urban natural reservations in the world, with lakes and hundreds of species of animals and rare plants. When the authorities decide to claim back this rare urban ecosystem, the Enache family is evicted and told to resettle in the city—a reality they know nothing about.


This fiction film was a breakout at the festival and was purchased by Amazon. It tells the story of Sandra, an Irish single mother of two young girls, who faces a dire situation. An attack by her abusive ex-husband and a housing crisis in Dublin leave her living in fear and unable to find a new home. Temporarily living with her two daughters in a cramped hotel room and battling a system that refuses to help her, Sandra is determined to create some stability and security for the three of them. Seeing no other options, she decides to build her own house, literally and metaphorically pouring the foundation of her own future.

Winner of both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic this charming fiction film stars Steven Yeun.
It’s the 1980s, and David, a seven-year-old Korean American boy, is faced with new surroundings and a different way of life when his father, Jacob, moves their family from the West Coast to rural Arkansas. His mother, Monica, is aghast that they live in a mobile home in the middle of nowhere, and naughty little David and his sister are bored and aimless. When his equally mischievous grandmother arrives from Korea to live with them, her unfamiliar ways arouse David’s curiosity. Meanwhile, Jacob, hell-bent on creating a farm on untapped soil, throws their finances, his marriage, and the stability of the family into jeopardy.

On The RecordOn The Record
This documentary presents the haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon, whose career and personal life have been deeply affected by the abuse she faced from the men she admired in the industry she loves. Directed by the Academy Award–nominated filmmaking duo Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War, 2012 Sundance Film Festival), the film follows Dixon (producer of hit records by 2Pac, Method Man, and Mary J. Blige) as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color to come forward as part of the #MeToo movement.
It will be on HBOMax.

TimeTime won the Directing Award for U.S. Documentary and was just purchased by Amazon.
Fox Rich is an entrepreneur, author, and mother of six who has spent the last 21 years fighting for the release of her husband, Rob, who is serving a 60-year sentence for an offense they both committed. She is assured and committed to sharing their story. When their sons speak to growing up without their father, they do so with a softer vulnerability than Fox can concede to. But home-video diaries she records for Rob offer unfettered glimpses into years of longing, pain, and hopeful anticipation of reuniting.



Sony Pictures Classics Buys The Eagle Huntress After Successful Sundance Premiere


The Eagle Huntress, directed by Otto Bell and produced in association with Shine Global, made its premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, January 24th, to a standing ovation and the praise hasn’t stopped since.

Film critic Kenneth Turan picked it out as one of his Sundance favorites when talking with NPR’s Steve Inskeep and in his review in the LA Times called the film ” enchanting” and said “falling under its sway is inevitable.”  Variety described the film as an “entertaining slice of real-life inspirational adventure.”  Melissa Silverstein at Indiewire writes that “this film is my new obsession. Aside from being one of the most beautifully shot movies I have ever seen, this movie tells an incredible story of the first-ever girl trained to be an Eagle Hunter.”  And Deadline describes the film as “one of the best reviewed docus of 2016 Sundance” saying “what director Otto Bell captured on screen is unprecedented.”

The documentary tells the story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old Mongolian girl who wants to become the first female Eagle Hunter in 2,000 years of male-dominated history. Under the tutelage and support of her father, she learns the traditions of being an Eagle Hunter, including capturing and training her very own eagle to compete against men from all over the country in the annual Golden Eagle Festival.  Aisholpan and her parents made the trip from Mongolia to Park City, Utah to be there for the premiere and were certainly one of the highlights of the many festival events.  As Aisholpan couldn’t bring her own eagle, White Wings, all the way from Mongolia, members of the Commanche tribe in Oklahoma were able to bring eagles for demonstrations throughout the week.

Just before the premiere, Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley signed on as an Executive Producer to help bring her clout to promote the film.  Said Ridley: “I was deeply moved by Aisholpan’s story and wanted to be a part of this beautiful film. I feel audiences and young girls around the world will be as inspired by her story as I was, and I am so proud to share her journey with the world.”

To cap off the successful Sundance run as the first documentary to premiere in the Sundance Kids section, Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American rights to The Eagle Huntress, in a deal that includes select international territories as well including Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Germany, Scandinavia and Asia. SPC will plot a significant theatrical release for the film.  In addition, several companies are also negotiating for the right to turn Aisholpan’s story into an animated feature, with plans for Ridley to provide the voice for the young heroine.


Eagle Huntress to Premiere at Sundance 2016

Eagle Huntress take flight

Sundance Institute today completed its feature film lineup for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival with the announcement that Eagle Huntress, directed by Otto Bell and produced in association with Shine Global, will be having its world premiere in the Sundance Kids section.  The Shine Global team will be in attendance at the festival.

The film follows Aisholpan, a 13 year old nomad girl, as she prepares to take on the all-male, all-grown-up world of Eagle Hunters at the annual Festival in the snow-capped Altai Mountains of North West Mongolia. Through breathtaking and intimate cinematography, this film will frame the universal themes of female empowerment, coming of age, and the onset of modernity.

The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Boyhood, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Twenty Feet from Stardom, Life Itself, The Cove, The End of the Tour, Blackfish, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Super Size Me, Dope, Little Miss Sunshine, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Napoleon Dynamite. Shine Global’s first documentary War/Dance, directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, won the Best Director – Documentary award at its world premiere at the festival in 2007.