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

Sundance Film Festival...Susan Swartz and a Greater Impact


Susan and her husband, Jim, are co-founders of Impact Partners, a philanthropic venture organization that supports independent films that address pressing social issues. Over the years, films they have supported have gone onto screen at major festivals all over the planet and to win significant accolades, including Academy Awards.

Now, Impact Partners is thrilled to announce that three of its newest films will premiere this month at the Sundance Film Festival in Susan’s hometown of Park City, Utah. One of the films, called The Queen of Versailles, is being further honored as the opening night film that sets the tone for the entire festival. Directed by Lauren Greenfield, the documentary follows a couple building the biggest house in America—a 90,000 sf. palace inspired by Versailles — when their timeshare empire falters due to the economic crisis. Their rags-to-riches-to-rags story reveals the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream.

Also showing for the first time at Sundance is David France’s documentary, How to Survive a Plague. This is the untold story of the intensive efforts that turned AIDS into a manageable condition, and the improbable group of (mostly HIV-positive) young men and women whose resilience broke through a time of rampant death and political indifference.

Veteran Sundancers, co-directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady return this year with Detropia (formerly titled Detroit Hustles Harder). Their latest documentary explores the idea that the woes of Detroit are emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. This is the dramatic story of a city and its people who refuse to leave the building, even as the flames are rising.

Now in its 34th year, the Sundance Film Festival has evolved to become what is arguably the most meaningful celebration of independent cinema on the planet. “I feel incredibly blessed to have this wellspring of insight, creativity and important conversation in my own backyard,” says Susan. “Jim and I are honored to have supported these three tremendous films and look forward to the world’s response to them.”