director, programming, Sundance Film Festival
Highly respected by the film community and known for his innovative style, John Cooper joined Sundance Institute in 1989 and has played a pivotal role in both the evolution of Sundance Film Festival and the development of the Sundance Institute's new initiatives. Long committed to diversity and building audiences for independent film, he has pioneered the Institute's expansion of cinematic storytelling by fostering the development of New Frontier on Main, the intersection of contemporary artists with technology and the moving image; boosted the Festival's now content-rich website, enabling a virtual Festival experience for film lovers all over the world; and led the distribution of short films through strategic relationships with iTunes, Netflix and Xbox 360 platforms. Last year Mr. Cooper was instrumental in engaging Blue State Digital, architects of President Obama's groundbreaking online campaign, to connect with the Institute's film and theater alumni, enhancing donor communication, and the recruitment of new Institute and Festival supporters. In addition to programming the popular Sundance Institute at BAM series, since 2005 Mr. Cooper has spearheaded The Sundance Institute Art House Project, a national initiative of 18 art houses from across the country designed to connect regional audiences to the Sundance's films and filmmakers.