America Ferrera made her Sundance Film Festival debut in 2002 with Real Women Have Curves, which earned her a Special Jury Prize for Acting. Since then, she has starred in the Festival films How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer, Steel City, La Misma Luna, and The Dry Land (also an Executive Producer). America is well-known for her Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award winning role as Betty Suarez in the hit television series Ugly Betty. She has starred in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 & 2, Our Family Wedding, and voiced Astrid in How to Train Your Dragon. She currently serves as an Artist Ambassador for the global humanitarian organization Save the Children, most recently helping to build an elementary school in Diassadeni, Mali. She is also a member of the 2011 Sundance Institute Alumni Advisory Board.
Todd McCarthy is chief film critic for The Hollywood Reporter and for many years held the same position at Variety. He has made several documentary films, including the award-winning Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography and won an Emmy for writing Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer. He is currently a member of the selection committee of the New York Film Festival.
A native of North Carolina, Tim Orr studied cinematography at the North Carolina School of the Arts. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for David Gordon Green’s first feature George Washington, and has directed photography on all of Green’s films, including Sundance Award winner All the Real Girls; as well as Undertow; Snow Angels, Pineapple Express and the upcoming Your Highness. Orr also served as director of photography on Mike White’s, Year of the Dog; Peter Sollett’s Raising Victor Vargas, and Mark Milgard’s Dandelion for which Orr was again nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
Kimberly Peirce staked her place as a director of singular vision and craft with her unflinching debut feature, Boys Don’t Cry, which she developed at the Sundance Institute Feature Film lab and went on to earn numerous honors including the Best Actress Oscar for the film’s star, Hilary Swank, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Awards for Chloe Sevigny, and National Board of Review and Boston Film Critics Directing Awards for Peirce. Peirce’s most recent film, Stop-Loss, is a topical and emotionally penetrating drama inspired by real-life stories of American soldiers, including her own brother, fighting in Iraq and coming home.
Jason Reitman made his directorial debut with the short film Operation at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. He has directed three other films that have screened at the Festival including the short films In God We Trust and Gulp, and the feature film Thank You for Smoking. Jason has received four Academy Award nominations, two of which are for Best Director for the films Juno (2007), and Up in the Air (2009). He was also a member of the Sundance Film Festival’s 2008 Short Film Jury. Jason is currently in post production on his latest directorial endeavor Young Adult. He is also a member of the 2011 Sundance Institute Alumni Advisory Board.