Chicago Filmmaker Jenny Shi Selected to Sundance Collective

Chicago Filmmaker Jenny Shi Selected to Sundance Collective

Sundance Institute announced this week the 11 artists selected for its first-ever Women at Sundance Adobe Fellowship, and there is a Chicago voice amid this prestigious ensemble. FINDING YINGYING director Jiayan "Jenny" Shi was selected to the cohort, which is designed to meaningfully support women artists creating bold new work in film and media, with a priority on filmmakers from historically underrepresented communities. The fellowship includes a $5,000 cash grant, skill-building workshops, and year-round mentorship from Sundance Institute staff and Adobe executives.

Jiayan "Jenny" Shi is a Chicago-based documentary filmmaker who is passionate about social justice issues regarding people of color. Her debut feature documentary FINDING YINGYING was set to premiere at 2020 SXSW Film Festival and won the Breakthrough Voice Special Jury Recognition. She has also worked on several projects as a researcher, digital content editor and translator including the ITVS co-produced digital series Pulling The Thread and the 2020 Academy Award-winning Netflix documentary American Factory. Jenny is a graduate of Kartemquin's Diverse Voices In Docs program, a TFI Network alum and the winner of the Paley DocPitch Competition 2018. Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Grantee.

Introduce your self to all eleven Sundance fellows with this brief reel from Adobe:

What's Next

The new fellowship for women connects to the Institute and Adobe’s shared long-standing commitment to nurturing, developing, and championing underrepresented voices. Adobe is also the founding supporter of Sundance Ignite, a year-long artist development program supporting filmmakers ages 18-25.

Beginning this summer, fellows will participate in an intimate online gathering to meet their cohort community, providing a forum to speak candidly about challenges and goals, brainstorm ideas for skill-building workshops, and learn how to maximize their fellowship experience. In the coming months, fellows will be able to participate in two skill-building workshops, based on the groups’ needs and interests.

Throughout their entire fellowship year, each artist will receive custom-tailored support from Sundance Institute program staff and Adobe, including introductions to key industry contacts and creative advisors, quarterly group calls to share progress and learnings, and referrals to specific opportunities. Each fellow is participating in a Sundance Institute Lab or program aligning with their career path.

“We are so grateful to Adobe’s support in championing and meaningfully supporting these eleven extraordinary artists through this new fellowship,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute. “In these turbulent times, visionary and targeted generosity is crucial for artists responding to this moment in our culture and evolving their craft.”

“Creativity has the power to unite us, help us cope, inspire us and drive positive change in the world. But, creativity needs to be more accessible to, and celebrated by, every one of us—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. At Adobe, we believe it is our responsibility to give diverse voices a platform to share their stories, especially in this unprecedented moment, and we are proud to partner with Sundance Institute to create greater opportunity for female filmmakers,” said Ann Lewnes, EVP and CMO for Adobe.