Cara Mertes joined Sundance Institute in late 2006 and currently oversees the Documentary Film Program and Fund. The Fund currently grants $1 million per year to contemporary issue independent documentaries globally, and the Program runs three Creative Labs and provides documentary planning at the Creative Producing Summit and the Sundance Film Festival, among other activities. In that time, Mertes has created new partnerships with the Open Society Institute, Skoll Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Good Pitch — Channel Four/Britdoc Foundation, the Arab Fund for Art, and Culture and Cinereach. Prior to her work at Sundance, Mertes was executive producer of P.O.V. from 1999- 2006, where she was recognized with eight News and Documentary Emmy Awards, three George Foster Peabody awards, and two duPont-Columbia Awards.
Three films she has executive produced have been nominated for Oscars, including Street Fight; My Country, and Nerakoon: Betrayal. She was the creator and executive producer of P.O.V.’s original online showcase P.O.V.’s “Borders,” winning a Webby Award, Batten Journalism Award, On-Line Journalism, and Parent’s Choice Award. She received her B.A. from Vassar College and completed her M.A. work at Hunter College.