Bill Gates was there, as was Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus. So were educational reformer Geoffrey Canada and environmental visionary Lester Brown. At the 2010 festival, the powerful presence of global leaders and influencers created a new kind of celebrity and confirmed the notion that Sundance is a place of ideas.
Sundance Institute has always supported and raised the profile of documentaries, helping make them more accessible to the public. In 2008, the institute and the Skoll Foundation created Stories of Change, an initiative to explore how film can further the work of social entrepreneurs and illustrate the role that art plays in social change. Sundance Institute also has a special collaborative project with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that is designed to harness the power of film to create communities and inspire action on issues related to global health, poverty, and education. The program’s multiplatform communications initiative includes six short documentary films that will be shared online and at speeches and public events around the world.