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The news of artist, environmental activist, documentary film producer and philanthropist Susan Swartz.

Reel Stories: Susan Swartz Applauds Sundance Film Festival

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One of the joys of living in Susan’s hometown of Park City, Utah is experiencing the energy of the annual Sundance Film Festival here each January. “For me, watching these films is like going to graduate school, ” explains Susan, “learning about important subjects that I often never even knew existed before.”

Sundance is especially meaningful to Susan, because of her intimate involvement as a producer in several films about pressing social issues. Both Susan and her husband Jim are founding members of Impact Partners, an organization that pairs independent filmmakers and investors. Over the past years, Impact Partners has produced many Sundance premieres. And 2013 was no exception.

Susan and Jim were thrilled to support a total of six films in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, which concluded earlier this week. This year’s films included the compelling sports documentary The Crash Reel, and the boundary-pushing Afternoon Delight, who’s director Jill Soloway nabbed the Sundance Directing Award. What’s more, American Promise, about what it means to be a minority at an exclusive school, won a Special Jury Prize, and the immigration murder mystery, Who Is Dayani Cristal? received the Cinematography Award.

But perhaps the film Susan is most proud of is Pandora’s Promise, which Jim produced. The feature-length documentary explores how and why mankind’s most feared and controversial technological discovery — nuclear power — is now passionately embraced by many of those who once led the charge against it. “It is so powerful to see a documentary that fundamentally changes the way you think about an issue,” marvels Susan.