Women We Love 2022: Tabitha Jackson

Tabitha Jackson

by Sundance Institute

“While I could never have presumed to dream that one day this queer little mixed-race girl from rural England would be responsible for the Sundance Film Festival, I have always been drawn to people who are trying to make sense of the world,” says Tabitha Jackson. As the first out and first Black woman to direct the legendary event, she strives to make it a uniting force for all. “My whole career has been focused on working with filmmakers and artists who have some- thing to say, are finding new voices, experiences, and languages and creative forms through which to say it, and are CONNECTING with audiences so that someone gets to hear it,” she tells GO. Jackson has long believed in the power of the arts for public good: she has more than 25 years of experience in the field, serving as head of Arts and Performance at London’s Channel 4 Television before joining the Sundance Institute in 2013 as Director of the Documentary Film Program. Now as Festival Director, Jackson occasionally merges work and home life: in 2020, she married her now-wife Kirsten Johnson at Sundance. When asked how being a woman on the LGBTQ+ spectrum has impacted her work, Jackson answers, “It’s more that my work has impacted me. Understanding how independent film can offer both windows and pathways to greater understanding, which, over time, can lead to cultural change, which leads to legislative change, is immensely powerful.” –LE

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