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Sundance Institute and the Dolby Institute Announce Inaugural Dolby Family Sound Fellowship

Sundance Institute and the Dolby Institute Announce Inaugural Dolby Family Sound Fellowship

Mike Cahill’s film I Origins selected as first recipient, to debut at 2014 Sundance Film Festival

San Francisco, December 18, 2013—Sundance Institute® and the Dolby® Institute, along with the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, announced today that I Origins, written and directed by Mike Cahill (Another Earth), has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Dolby Family Sound Fellowship. This new fellowship opportunity provides a range of postproduction resources to allow the fellowship recipient to fully realize the creative potential of the film’s sound design. I Origins, which will make its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival® in January, was chosen based on the complex canvas and characters in the film, and the particularly intriguing possibilities of using sound and the latest advances in sound technology to increase the impact of the final film experience.

“We were looking to support the next generation of independent filmmakers by identifying new films with potential for a really inventive use of sound, but lacking in the resources to accomplish their creative vision,” said David Dolby. “I Origins is exactly the kind of film that we were looking for—it needed to achieve an immersive and detailed sound environment to communicate the director’s vision, and we’re providing a boost to get it across the finish line. We hope that Ray Dolby’s love and appreciation for great film sound will inspire independent filmmakers to focus on sound design and mixing during the creative process.”

The I Origins team will use the grant to assist with the sound design and mix at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, supervised by sound designer Steve Boeddeker (All Is Lost, Alice in Wonderland). The world premiere of I Origins at the Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2014, will feature the Dolby Atmos™ mix. Dolby Atmos unleashes the potential of sound in storytelling by giving filmmakers the creative freedom to easily place or move sounds anywhere in the movie theatre to create a lifelike cinema sound experience.
“I’m grateful to Sundance Institute and Dolby for this incredible opportunity,” said writer-director Mike Cahill. “The film begins as an intimate, personal story and expands both visually and conceptually as it drives toward its climax. Dolby and the artists at Skywalker Sound will allow us to chart that expansion through sound in a way we never would have been able to otherwise. We’re so excited to hear the possibilities.”

Michelle Satter, Founding Director, Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, said, “Sundance Institute’s Lab programs have expanded to include sound design in recognition of the power of sound to enhance and amplify the creative vision for a film. We are grateful that our colleagues at the Dolby Institute and the Dolby family have created the Dolby Family Sound Fellowship, which underscores their commitment to support sound design and sound mixing for independent film production.”

Sundance Institute and the Dolby Institute collaborated on the film vetting process; the winning film was selected by a committee made up of members from both organizations, in consultation with legendary multiple Academy Award® nominated sound designer and rerecording mixer Skip Lievsay (No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski). Over the years, the Sundance Institute has worked closely with Dolby and most recently partnered on the launch of the Dolby Institute at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

On January 19 at the Sundance Film Festival, the Dolby Institute will host the panel discussion “The Sound of I Origins.” Glenn Kiser, Director, Dolby Institute, will moderate the discussion and clip presentation on the sound and music design of I Origins with writer-director Mike Cahill, sound designer Steve Boeddeker, rerecording mixer Brandon Proctor, and the film’s music composers, Phil Mossman and Will Bates. Tickets will be available to accredited Sundance industry guests.

About the Dolby Family Sound Fellowship
The Dolby Family Sound Fellowship is a pilot program launching at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Fellowship recipients will be awarded in the range of $35,000 to $75,000, depending on the needs of the film chosen, with the flexibility to use the grant at varying stages of sound postproduction in whatever way best impacts their film. Opportunities include augmenting studio time for sound design, music recording, mixing, or remixing the film in Dolby Atmos. Recipients will also receive a myriad of in-kind support services, with the opportunity to work with leading industry experts and Dolby sound editorial teams at professional mixing facilities. This year’s fellowship also supported the Sundance Institute’s programmatic and administrative costs to identify, nominate, and select the fellowship recipient.

About I Origins
Written and directed by Mike Cahill (Another Earth) and starring Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, I Origins follows the life and desires of a pragmatic molecular biologist whose rigorous study of the human eye leads him to a greater truth about human connection.
About the Dolby Institute
The Dolby Family Sound Fellowship is part of the Dolby Institute. Launched at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, the institute has the mission to help engage and educate artists and filmmakers on the importance of sound to the overall film experience, and to invite filmmakers and artists to think critically about sound from the very beginning of the creative process. The institute works directly with filmmakers and artists at leading film festivals, labs, and related events. Since late 2012, the institute has brought together emerging artists and award-winning audio veterans and masters of the craft to offer concrete tools and advice on ways to make a story more vibrant with sound. Dolby Institute Director Glenn Kiser, the former vice president and general manager of Skywalker Sound, has been working at film festivals, universities, and film schools—wherever filmmakers gather.
About Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform, and inspire, regardless of geopolitical, social, religious, or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights, and theatre artists, the Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Light in the Piazza, and Angels in America. Join the Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

About Dolby Laboratories
Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB) creates audio, video, and voice technologies that transform entertainment and communications in mobile devices, at the cinema, at home, and at work. For nearly 50 years, sight and sound experiences have become more vibrant, clear, and meaningful in Dolby. For more information, please visit

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