Artist Caroline Monnet will be recognized at the Native Forum Celebration with a year-long grant inspired by the late Maori filmmaker’s film work.
The Sundance Institute has officially announced the recipient of the 2023 Merata Mita Scholarship.
Filmmaker Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe/French) has been selected by the non-profit organization to receive the annual scholarship in honor of the late Maori filmmaker Mita, who died in 2010. Created for Indigenous women-identified artists, the year-round grant supports the work of filmmakers. his first feature films.
Monnet was recognized at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival’s Native Forum ceremony at The Park in Park City, Utah. The event was graced by Bart Powakee and the Ute Tribal Nation Red Spirit Singers, along with Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente, Sundance Institute Board Member Amy Redford, Nia Tero (represented by Tracy Rector) and Indigenous Programs Director Adam Piron. (Kiowa and Mohawk). Piron also announced five 2022 Native Lab Fellows, three 2022 Full Circle Fellowships, and recognized 11 Native projects from around the world that will be presented at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, January 19-29.
“I am honored to be named this year’s Merata Mita Fellow and to follow in the legacy of such talented Indigenous women who have done pioneering work,” Monnet said. “This recognition from the Sundance Institute came at a crucial moment for me. This realization allows me to continue my cinematic journey and to strengthen and define my cinematic voice even more. This recognition inspires me to continue to challenge myself and to strive higher. I recognize that this would not be possible without the support of the Indigenous film community and my community as a whole.”
Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist from Outaouais, Quebec. He studied sociology and communication at the University of Ottawa (CA) and the University of Granada (ES) before pursuing a career in fine arts and film. His work has been widely programmed in international exhibitions and festivals, including Sundance, Palm Springs (USA), TIFF, Cannes (FR) and the Whitney Biennial. In 2016, he was selected for the Cinéfondation residency in Paris. It is based in Montreal.
“After years of watching her work develop in a variety of mediums, the selection of Caroline Monnet as this year’s Merata Mita Fellow not only made sense, but her oeuvre reflected Merata’s own creative spirit to break the mold and demand that the work of Indigenous artists live up to it. its own terms,” said Adam Piron, director of the Indigenous Program at the Sundance Institute. “We are thrilled to support Caroline in the next step of her creative journey and are delighted to be a part of the creation of her film.”
Encouraging Indigenous filmmakers’ storytelling agency and decolonizing the screen has been the goal of the Sundance Institute since its inception. Native American filmmakers were invited to participate in the founding sessions of the Sundance Institute and its first filmmaking laboratory in 1981. The Institute’s Feature Film Program, Documentary Program, and Sundance Film Festival continually seek out Indigenous artists and work with the Indigenous Program to identify them. for supporting artists around the world. Over the years, the Sundance Institute has supported leading Indigenous filmmakers such as Lyle Corbine, Chris Eyre, Sydney Freeland, Sterlin Harjo, Sky Hopinka, Jr., Elle-Maija Tailfeathers and Taika Waititi. The Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The WK Kellogg Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Endeavor, Warner Bros. Discovery, The Nia Tero Foundation, The Christensen Fund, Indigenous Screen Office, supported by SAGindie, Oneida Indian Nation, New Zealand Film Commission, Susan Friedenberg, Susan Shiliday, Indigenous Media Initiatives, Chelsea Winstanley, Exposure Labs, Felix Culpa, Bird Runningwater, Sterlin Harjo and Sarah Luther.
Last year’s Merata Mita Fellow Fox Maxy will present their debut film ‘Gush’ as part of the New Frontier selection at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
The late filmmaker Mita broke new ground as the first Maori woman to write and direct a dramatic feature film. From 2000 to 2009, he was a consultant and artistic director of the Sundance Institute’s Native Lab, an outreach to emerging Native talent. In continuation of her legacy, the Sundance Institute is now awarding a scholarship in her name to an Indigenous female-identifying filmmaker from a pool of global applicants for the eighth year. The fellowship includes one year of support for activities such as participation in the Sundance Film Festival, access to strategic and creative services offered by the Sundance Institute’s artist programs, financial support, and mentoring opportunities.
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