In an effort to increase diversity at its festival and talent-inducing labs, Sundance has partnered up with Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. The foundation is set to lend financial support to Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Intensive Program.

The program offers a two-day workshop to screenwriters from underrepresented communities and works with the Diversity Initiative. While the amount of the grant has not been disclosed, it has been set up for two years.

“You do not have to travel farther than your kitchen tables to know that our world is as divided as it is diverse. Where some are fearful and angered by that diversity, we find beauty and power,” Keisha Senter, of the Will and Jada Smith Foundation, said at a brunch announcing the partnership.

“Our mission is to ensure that it our beautiful and diverse world is also inclusive. That means embracing the views and experiences of people who don’t look like us, speak like us, think like us, love like us, or pray like us,” Senter said. “We encourage the people we meet, not to hide their differences…but to share with the world who they are, where they come from, and where their hearts and minds will carry them into the future.”

“We are honored and energized to collaborate with the Sundance Institute to cultivate stories and storytellers reflective of the world at large, and we view today as the beginning of a productive, purposeful and powerful alignment with an enduring institution,” Pinket Smith said in a statement.

This partnership is exciting for representation initiatives and we are looking forward to witnessing the trajectory of the program!

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