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Ex-Miramaxer Keri Putnam taking a Sundance gig

February 24, 2010 |  9:00 pm

Former Miramax production president Keri Putnam is making a notable switch -- she's heading to Sundance.

The Los Angeles-based Putnam has been named by Robert Redford as the executive director for the Sundance Institute, essentially the nonprofit's highest-ranking paid position, where she'll oversee all of the institute's programs and report directly to its board.

The Sundance Institute is an umbrella organization that, among its other projects, develops young writers, producers and directors; cultivates international programs and also presents the Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute's previous executive director, Ken Brecher, resigned last April, with the position sitting vacant since then. In a statement, Redford cited the need for a "fresh approach in this new environment that surrounds us" and added that "Keri’s appointment reflects the new direction in which we are headed."

Putnam's tenure at Miramax was marked by the company's of several success at both the awards podium and the box office, including "No Country for Old Men" and "The Queen."

Sundance's hiring of Putnam -- who before Miramax worked at HBO, where she counted "Empire Falls" and Gus Van Sant's "Elephant" among her credits -- means that another veteran of the art-house film business has fanned out to a new part of the entertainment world as the specialty film business has contracted.

--Steven Zeitchik