Jarom Rowland has led the Sundance Film Festival’s film music program for going on five years, having previously come from managing the Sundance ASCAP Music Café at the film festival for years.
“That is where I started working with Peter Golub, the director of the film music program and becoming more involved with the institute’s interest in supporting musicians and composers,” Rowland says. “My background as a musician made me naturally interested in heading in that direction, so I more or less told Peter that when and if he had an opening on his team, it was mine to have. He agreed.”
The program’s purpose is to support composers through two residential labs run through the summer at Skywalker Sound, a film and television sound design firm. Artists get firsthand experience composing for film, and independent filmmakers can get a better grip on film music through Sundance’s Feature Film and Documentary programs. Rowland says the experience is unlike the typical fellowship or market because “failure is an option” and “only creativity matters.”
“They aren’t going to have that kind of collaborative Utopia anywhere else on their path,” he says. “It’s in some of those mistakes, I think, that some of the biggest discoveries are to be found. I think having the credential of being a Sundance Institute Lab Alumni in any artistic field we support lends that person some advantage as they continue on in their career. There are very few programs like ours specifically meant for film music composers anywhere else in the world.”
The program has an open application process and anyone can apply. The application is posted on the film music program website every February and closes at the beginning of April.
For more information, visit sundance.org.