Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2011 (Revised September 2014)

The Kid Grows Up: Decisions at the Sundance Institute

by Mukti Khaire and Eleanor Kenyon


The Sundance case raises the question of how markets for innovative cultural products can be created and what the role of intermediaries in creative industries ought to be. The case describes the history of the Sundance Institute, which was founded by actor/director Robert Redford to promote independent filmmaking. Started as a "Lab," where independent filmmakers could work on their film projects, the Institute soon expanded to organize the Sundance Film Festival in order to facilitate the exhibition and distribution of independent films, including those not supported by the Sundance Labs. Thirty years after Sundance was founded, its top management team wonders whether the mission of Sundance would be best served by increasing and improving the supply of independent films in the market, or by educating consumers to create an audience for independent cinema.

Keywords: entertainment; entrepreneurship; Decision Making; Film Entertainment; Motion Pictures and Video Industry; United States;


Khaire, Mukti, and Eleanor Kenyon. "The Kid Grows Up: Decisions at the Sundance Institute." Harvard Business School Case 812-051, December 2011. (Revised September 2014.)