Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981 that actively advances the work of filmmakers and storytellers worldwide. The Institute has offices in Park City, Los Angeles, and New York City, and provides creative and financial support to emerging and aspiring filmmakers, directors, producers, film composers, screenwriters, playwrights, and theater artists through a series of Labs and Fellowships The programs of Sundance Institute include the Sundance Film Festival, a premier platform for American and international independent film. The Sundance Institute's founding staff, assembled in spring of 1980, included Executive Director Sterling Van Wagenen, Director of Film Development Programs Jenny Walz Selby, and Director of Development Jon Lear. Frank Daniel was secured as Artistic Director. This staff produced the first Filmmakers Lab in June 1981, which fortuitously followed the Academy Awards at which Ordinary People (the directorial debut of Robert Redford) won numerous awards, including Best Picture. Michelle Satter joined the staff in June 1981 and subsequently opened up the Los Angeles office of the Institute. The Sundance Institute's 1981 founding Board of Directors included Robert Redford, Frank Daniel, George C. White, Reg Gipson, Jon Lear, Ian Calderon, Jack Crosby, Moctesuma Esparza, Robert Geller, Alan Jacobs, Bill Wittliff, and Marjorie Benton. Sydney Pollack was also instrumental in helping found the Institute. In 1985, the Sundance Institute assumed management of the fledgling United States Film Festival, which had been experiencing financial problems. The Institute hired Tony Safford from the AFI Kennedy Center program as Program Director and renamed the festival.