Sundance Institute Grants & Labs

The previous post ran down some useful information on the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers should remember that the festival is just one program of the larger Sundance Institute, which also offers a number of resources for filmmakers each year, including grants and labs. This post provides information on most of these programs.


Sundance Documentary Fund

Deadline:
Spring 2011 Funding Cycle Deadline: February 9, 2011
Fall 2011 Funding Cycle Deadline: July 7, 2011

About:
The Sundance Documentary Fund supports cinematic feature documentaries about pressing Human Rights, social justice, civil liberties and related topics from the US and internationally. Proposals to the Documentary Fund are evaluated on effective storytelling, global relevance, originality, artistic innovation and potential for social engagement. If your film is within our mandate but with a softer approach to the a contemporary social issue, please consider applying only in the production-post/production category when you have a solid rough cut for consideration. Please check our website and click on the “Projects” tab for a list of all previously funded films. Please note we do not fund shorts, webisodes, online series, or strictly historical, biographical, NGO, or educational films.

More information:
Sundance Documentary Fund


Sundance/Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant

Deadline:
For 2011 grant cycle: September 24, 2010

About:
Established in 2005, the Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant is an annual cash award for a science or technology related narrative (fiction) feature-length project that is at an early stage such as full treatment or early screenplay draft.  This grant will also include a small stipend for a science advisor to provide support through consultation and feedback, as well as the possibility of inclusion in the Feature Film Program’s Screenwriters Lab.

More information:
Sundance/Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant


Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award

Deadline:
Please Note:
The award will be suspended for at least 2011-2012. Check the link below for announcements of other potential initiatives that the Institute may develop to support international filmmakers.

About:
The Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award offers emerging film-makers from four global regions an annual cash award and a purchase guarantee from NHK for Japanese TV broadcast rights upon completion of the project. Additionally, each of the four recipients will receive ongoing mentorship and assistance from the Sundance Institute throughout the year to find finance and distribution.

More information:
Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award


Screenwriters Lab

Deadline:
Please Note:
The January Screenwriters Lab is the only Lab for which there is an open application; the June Screenwriters Lab is by invitation only, with participants typically selected from alumni/ae of other Labs.

January Screenwriters Lab deadline: usually May 1st (US entrants) and September 1 (International entrants)

About:
The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day writer’s workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. One-on-one story sessions with Creative Advisors support, challenge, and inspire the screenwriters during this intensive process of script development.

More information:
Screenwriters Lab


Directors Lab

Deadline:
Please Note:
Participation in the Directors Lab is by invitation only and usually includes projects that have gone through a previous Screenwriters Lab or which have been recommended by advisors, alumni, or other film industry professionals.

About:
Over the course of the Directors Lab, the Fellows work with an accomplished group of Creative Advisors and professional production crews, rehearsing, shooting, and editing key scenes from their scripts. Through this intense, hands-on process, the Fellows push the boundaries of their scripts, allowing them to workshop text, collaborate with actors, and find a visual language for their film in an atmosphere where experimentation is encouraged. Surrounded by seasoned professionals, yet removed from the typical pressures of production, Lab Fellows are offered a unique opportunity to see the script “on its feet,” develop skills, and take risks. Directors Lab Fellows also join in the week-long Screenwriters Lab with five additional Screenwriter projects to participate in individualized story sessions under the guidance of established screenwriters.

More information:
Directors Lab


Film Composers Lab

Deadline:
The Narrative Feature Composers Lab is an open to applications, with a submission postmark deadline of April 3, 2011.

Please Note: Participation in the Documentary Composers Lab is by invitation only and usually includes projects that previously have been Sundance Documentary Fund grantees.

About:
The Film Composers Lab, held each summer at the Sundance Resort, provides a group of talented composers with valuable first-hand experience composing for film. By pairing participating composers with emerging filmmakers supported by the Institute’s Feature Film program as well as the Institute’s Documentary Film Program, the Lab aims to enhance the role of music in independent film. With leading film composers, directors, music editors, and music supervisors serving as Creative Advisors, Composers Lab Fellows work closely with filmmakers in a supportive atmosphere designed to promote experimentation and collaboration.

More information:
Film Composers Lab


Documentary Edit & Story Lab

Deadline:
Please Note:
This Lab is by invitation only to projects that previously have been Sundance Documentary Fund grantees.

About:
The Documentary Edit and Story Lab is an intensive week-long workshop held in the mountains of Utah each summer to encourage nonfiction filmmakers during a critical stage in the creative process. The Lab provides Fellows with the opportunity to focus on story, character development and dramatic structure while working intensively with accomplished editors and directors on selected scenes from their work-in-progress.

More information:
Documentary Edit & Story Lab


Creative Producing Fellowship

Deadline:
February 14, 2011

About:
The Sundance Institute Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship is a year-long creative and strategic fellowship program for emerging American producers with their next project. Conceived as an initiative to develop and support the next generation of American independent producers, the Creative Producing Fellowship focuses on the holistic producer, who identifies, options, develops, and pitches material; champions and challenges the writer/director creatively; raises financing; leads the casting/packaging process; hires and inspires crew; and navigates the sales, distribution, and marketing arenas. The Creative Producing Fellowship is designed to hone emerging producers’ creative instincts in the scripting and editing stages, and to evolve their communicating and problem-solving skills at all stages of realizing a project.

More information:
Creative Producing Fellowship


Sundance Institute-Ford Foundation Film Fellowship/Native Filmmakers Lab

Deadline:
February 14, 2011

About:
The Sundance Institute’s Native Program has created a fellowship with support from the Ford Foundation to provide direct support to emerging Native American/Native Hawaiian/Alaska Native film artists working in the U.S. The Sundance Institute-Ford Foundation Film Fellowship is a two-stage development opportunity for filmmakers with feature film scripts, documentary projects, short film scripts, and webisode series outlines/scripts. The first stage of development is an intensive five-day workshop to be held May 24-28, 2010. The workshop is designed to support filmmakers in strengthening their craft, developing their voice as writers, and advancing their current projects closer towards production. During the workshop, Fellows receive feedback on their projects from established screenwriters and filmmakers who serve as Creative Advisors. The workshop is structured to support filmmakers who are still creatively engaged in the early stages of a project and are at the point where they would welcome and benefit from feedback and discussion about their work. Filmmakers are accepted into the program to work on the specific project with which they apply.

The second stage of the Fellowship is intended to advance the careers of the Fellows by providing networking opportunities with film professionals who can advise them on both the craft and business of cinema. Fellows will attend the 2011 Sundance Film Festival where they can network with established screenwriters, producers, and other industry professionals.

More information:
Sundance Institute-Ford Foundation Film Fellowship


It should also be noted that additional awards and fellowships are made available to selected Lab fellows. Many of these are listed here.

Note: Program descriptions are taken from the Sundance Institute website.

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Filed under Film, Funding Deadlines, Sundance

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