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Manager, Catalyst

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Department: Creative Producing Program Department Creative Producing Unit


Considerations: Position works full time from our Los Angeles, CA office. This position is required to travel to the Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Catalyst Forum. Travel estimated at approximately 8%. Extended hours and weekend work will be required leading up to and during events. 


Position General Summary:

Sundance Catalyst connects culturally engaged film investors and funders with highly-anticipated film projects and the Sundance community. The goal of this program is to foster a meaningful dialogue that opens new paths to production for the most promising new independent films and to create a culture that enables investors and filmmakers to build fertile partnerships for the long term.


To date, the primary expression of the Catalyst program has been our annual Catalyst Forum. Over three days at the Sundance Resort, this invitation-only gathering introduces prospective financiers to a slate of 10 to 12 top-notch, Sundance-supported documentary and fiction projects seeking financing. Through project presentations, individually scheduled meetings, and informal social gatherings, investors connect directly with filmmakers, top advisors, and Sundance program leadership. Additionally, the schedule delves into the risks and rewards of film investing through case studies, roundtable discussions, special screenings, and artist conversations. 


The Catalyst Manager partners with the program Director to steward the artist and investor communities and to craft strategy for the program as it evolves from an annual event into a year-round slate of activities. The Manager also helps to lead project tracking and selections, and runs the submissions and reviews processes in collaboration with colleagues from the Feature Film and Documentary Film groups. This role is a key liaison to the selected film teams, shepherding them through preparations, offering them critical project feedback, and keeping in touch with them long after they graduate from the program.


Essential Job Functions and Duties: 

  • Manages and grows the Catalyst artist community working closely with the artist programs on tracking, cultivation and artist support.

  • Partners with Director and Advancement team on outreach to current creative investors and in cultivation of prospective investors.

  • Conducts field research and helps to build a new program strategy.

  • Represents Catalyst and Sundance Institute at assigned industry and filmmaker events, to build relationships, scout projects, and expand the reach, awareness, and efficacy of programs.

  • Leads outreach to producers, filmmakers, and key industry to help source projects for selections.

  • Works closely with the Director to manage project selections for Catalyst programs and participates as a key member of the curatorial team.

  • Manages filmmaker preparations for Catalyst labs and programs, including coaching and feedback on pitch presentations and materials.

  • Tracks prospective and past Catalyst projects; leads follow-up with program alumni as filmmakers navigate financing deals, partnership opportunities, packaging, production and distribution.

  • Manages the submissions process, handling all aspects of applications, and reviewing and organizing all submissions with detailed notes and recommendations to the team. 

  • Leads lab book creation process, and helps to write and proof other public-facing materials including brochures, investor solicitation decks, invitations, newsletters, web/social copy, stakeholder updates, donor reports, panel materials, and presentations.

  • In partnership with Catalyst Producer, assists with production elements of Catalyst events.

  • In partnership with Catalyst Director and Advancement team, assists with expanded year-round footprint of Catalyst experience for creative investors

  • Stays current on industry players and trends in producing and film financing.

  • Writes wrap reports for all programs, collecting feedback from colleagues and offering forward-looking insights.

  • Hires, trains and manages highly effective staff and volunteers, providing direction, feedback and support to ensure employees and volunteers understand their responsibilities and are effective in their roles; delegates appropriate and meaningful work.

  • Other duties as assigned.


Position Requirements:

  • Passion for Sundance Institute's mission.

  • 5 years experience that includes film financing, producing, or development.

  • Extensive knowledge of film and industry players.

  • Experience working with filmmakers and providing creative feedback.

  • Experience with film financiers and/or nonprofit donors.

  • Proven ability to establish rapport and credibility with senior leaders and a wide range of constituencies.

  • Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills.

  • Strong attention to detail and outstanding organization skills.

  • Affinity for data collection and data-driven strategies.

  • Highest levels of personal and professional discretion, integrity and ethics.

  • Expertise with Google product suite and working knowledge of databases.

  • Ability to work nights and weekends around events and key deadlines. 

  • Legal authorization to work in the United States.


Preferred Experience:

  • Experience with documentary or feature film producing.

  • Experience with a nonprofit arts organization. 

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