Keri Putnam is CEO of the non-profit Sundance Institute whose mission is to support, champion, and amplify independent artists in film, media and theatre, and grow an engaged community to champion their work. Putnam oversees the Institute’s annual Sundance Film Festival, as well as its wide array of programs to support storytelling artists around the world annually, including signature residential labs, year-long fellowships, workshops, direct granting, strategic and educational resources, and ongoing mentorship.
Since Putnam joined Sundance Institute in 2010, the organization has launched international Festivals and Labs in China, India, the MENA region, the UK and Morocco, launched new labs and festival programs featuring expanded episodic content, VR and new media, and short-form storytelling, expanded its creative producing initiative to support finance, marketing and distribution of independent work, and built several keystone initiatives to foster inclusion in independent film, including the Women at Sundance program.
Prior to joining Sundance, Putnam was President of Production at Miramax films, a division of the Walt Disney Company, where she oversaw Acquisitions, Development, Production, Post-Production and Production Finance and made or acquired films including The Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men, Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will be Blood, Ben Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, Stephen Frears’ The Queen, Greg Mottola’s Adventureland and Julian Schnabel’s Diving Bell and the Butterfly . During her 4-year tenure at the company, Miramax films were recognized with 34 Academy Award nominations and 7 wins.
Putnam spent the first 15 years of her career at HBO, starting as an assistant in original programming and ending as EVP of movies and mini-series overseeing the creative team in this area. She supervised production of 48 films and mini-series, which collectively were nominated or won over 50 Emmy Awards, as well as numerous Peabody Awards, Golden Globes and other honors. She was also a key leadership team member in building and launching a theatrical division called Picturehouse in partnership with New Line Cinema that made and released several acclaimed films including Maria Full of Grace, American Splendor, and Gus van Sant’s Cannes Palme D’or winner Elephant.