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Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
Sundance Institute / U.S.A


cara_mertes CARA MERTES' career spans over two decades in independent media as an award-winning  Executive Producer, director, broadcast programmer, teacher, journalist and independent film  advocate, with a focus on social issue documentary. She joined Sundance Institute in 2006 as  Director of the Documentary Film Program and Fund. Mertes oversees all activities of this  signature Sundance Institute program, granting between $1 and $2 million per year to approximately 50 films globally. Four Creative Documentary Labs are held every summer at Sundance Resort, and the DFP provides Labs and other creative and professional support opportunities to approximately 100 documentary filmmakers annually. Since 2006, Mertes and the DFP team has created and implemented several international multi-year documentary-based partnerships, including Stories of Change with Skoll Foundation, Good Pitch/Channel Four Foundation and the Arab Fund for Art and Culture, and leadership partnerships with Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations, among others. The DFP conducts workshops and presentations globally, supports documentary programming and curates panels and events at the Sundance Film Festival, organizes the documentary track at the annual Creative Producers Summit, curates work-in-progress screenings with partner organizations, and conducts other initiatives of the DFP.
Prior to her work at Sundance, Mertes was Executive Producer of P.O.V. and Executive Director of American Documentary, Inc. the non-profit that produces the P.O.V. series for the national PBS schedule.