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Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA

A young woman looking at the camera.

The Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA was established in 1997 to ensure the long-term preservation of independent films, which are often at greater risk of being lost or forgotten than larger-budget productions from major studios. A joint effort between the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Sundance Institute, the collection is dedicated to saving this extraordinary and vital part of contemporary culture, to be studied and appreciated by future filmmakers and media historians.

To develop the collection, eight founding donors — Fine Line Features, Gramercy Pictures, Miramax Films, New Line Cinema, October Films, Sony Picture Classics, Strand Releasing and Trimark Pictures — and individual filmmakers donated 35mm prints and video copies of their films. The collection now includes more than 4,200 holdings, representing a wide range of feature-length, short, fiction and nonfiction works and continues to actively collaborate with artists to collect films supported through the Institute’s Sundance Film Festival, Feature Film Program, and Documentary Film Program.

Each year, the Sundance Film Festival highlights the importance of the collection through its “From the Collection” screenings. For example, the 2022 and 2023 editions premiered the restorations of Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1993, pictured here), The Doom Generation (1995) and SLAM (1998), with directors Leslie Harris, Marc Levin and Gregg Araki in attendance. With the support of the Sundance Institute and other partners, the Archive has restored and brought renewed attention to titles such as: Desert Hearts (dir. Donna Deitch, 1986), Paris is Burning (dir. Jennie Livingston, 1990), The Hours and Times (dir. Christopher Munch, 1991), Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (dir. Leslie Harris, 1993), Hoop Dreams (dir. Steve James, 1994), River of Grass (dir. Kelly Reichardt, 1994), SLAM (dir. Marc Levin, 1998) and Born into Brothels (dir. Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman, 2004).

Other notable titles in the collection include: Paris, Texas (dir. Wim Wenders, 1984), Border Radio (dir. Allison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss, 1987), Living on Tokyo Time (dir. Steven Okazaki, 1987), Household Saints (dir. Nancy Savoca, 1993), The White Balloon (dir. Jafar Panahi, 1995), Girls Town (dir. Jim McKay, 1996), High Art (dir. Lisa Cholodenko, 1998), Long Night’s Journey Into Day (dir. Frances Reid, Deborah Hoffman, 2000), By Hook or by Crook (dir. Harry Dodge, Silas Howard, 2001), Primer (dir. Shane Carruth, 2004), Me and You and Everyone We Know (dir. Miranda July, 2005), Journey from the Fall (dir. Ham Tran, 2006), Four Sheets to the Wind (dir. Sterlin Harjo, 2007), Hollywood Chinese (dir. Arthur Dong, 2007), Pariah (dir. Dee Rees, 2011) and How to Survive a Plague (dir. David France, 2012).

Download a more comprehensive list (PDF) of available titles.

To request titles for onsite research viewing by appointment at UCLA, please contact the Archive Research and Study Center.

For additional information about the Sundance Institute Archives & Collections, please visit

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