Pat Mitchell To Receive Vanguard Award for Philanthropy At Sundance Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala

The nonprofit Sundance Institute today revealed an additional honoree of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival’s fundraiser, Opening Night Gala: Celebrating 40 Years, which will take place on January 18, 2024, at the DeJoria Center in Utah.

The gala kicks off the 40th Sundance Film Festival. This year, former Sundance Institute Board Chair and trustee Pat Mitchell will receive the Vanguard Award for Philanthropy, recognizing her commitment to the Institute’s support and to philanthropy for social impact.

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The Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award for Philanthropy honors innovation, originality, and independent spirit as demonstrated through an exemplary commitment to philanthropy and social impact. Pat Mitchell, this year’s honoree, has exhibited a steadfast, decadeslong commitment to the Sundance Institute’s mission, the issues of women and girls, and global climate change.

As previously announced, the Opening Night Gala will also recognize Christopher Nolan, who will be honored with the inaugural Sundance Institute Trailblazer Award. Celine Song and Maite Alberdi — who premiered their films Past Lives and The Eternal Memory, respectively, at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival — will each receive the annual Vanguard Award Presented by Acura.

The annual Opening Night Gala enables the nonprofit to raise critical funds to support independent artists year-round through labs, grants, and public programming that nurture artists globally. The upcoming Sundance Film Festival will take place January 18–28, 2024, in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as online from January 25–28.

“Sundance is so much more than a film festival. It’s a mission to discover and to support the stories and ideas that open hearts and minds, that challenge and expand our boundaries, and that connect us as a community of storytellers and change-makers,” said Pat Mitchell. “It’s been a privilege to support and serve that mission, to share the learning journey that is core to all that Sundance is and will continue to be.”

Throughout Pat Mitchell’s career as an award-winning journalist and producer, her projects have received 34 Emmys, five Peabodys, and two Academy Award nominations, and as a media executive she was the first woman president of CNN Productions and PBS. Mitchell is the author of Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World and is currently leading a global campaign for climate justice titled Project Dandelion.

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