Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival has long been a springboard to success for independent filmmakers, and this January, Brown alumni were well-represented among the winners. The Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking went to Shilpi Gupta ’99, whose When the Storm Came (right) looks at a village in Kashmir, where more than a decade ago thirty-six women were raped in a single night, allegedly by members of the Indian Security Force. Jon Else, who heads the documentary program that Gupta attends at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Shilpi’s great accomplishment is that when no one else would, she got herself to that village and told their story.”
Winning a Special Jury Prize was Rodney Evans ’93, writer and director of Brother to Brother (above left). “This film rethinks the Harlem Renaissance from the point of view of gay black men now and seventy years ago,” critic Wesley Morris wrote in the Boston Globe. “It’s riddled with imperfections, but it’s the most ambitious film here.” Flashing back between Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s and lower Manhattan today, the film bridges decades by creating a life-affirming encounter between a modern-day young, black, gay artist named Perry and a fictionalized version of Harlem Renaissance luminary Bruce Nugent.