Archives

About the Archives & Collection

Independent storytellers advance and challenge cultural discourse by creating stories that explore and document the world around us. We are passionate about preserving and sharing these stories for generations to come.

From press kits to posters, films to photos, and scripts to scores, the Sundance Institute Archives & Collection inspires and educates through preservation and access to seminal work of independent artists and the unique history of the organization. By sharing the history of independent storytelling, the Archives & Collection provides an opportunity for discovery and dialogue around creative work and its impact on contemporary culture.

1.5

MILLION

DIGITAL PHOTOS

100K

PHOTOS, SLIDES, NEGATIVES & CONTACT SHEETS

300K

SCRIPTS, PRESS KITS, POSTERS & PRINTED MATERIAL

500K+

DIGITAL VIDEO FILES

5K+

HOURS OF VIDEO ON 3/4", BETA, VHS & MINI DV

2,500,000+

ASSETS IN THE ARCHIVES

To address the specific preservation risks posed to independent film, Sundance Institute partnered with the UCLA Film & Television Archive to form the Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA in 1997. The Collection at UCLA is home to hundreds of films, and we actively endeavor to rescue those that are at risk and identify titles in need of restoration. Our efforts have brought renewed attention to titles such as Hoop Dreams, Desert Hearts, Reservoir Dogs, El Mariachi, and Paris Is Burning, among many others.

714

FILMS PRESERVED
IN THE COLLECTION

1547

VHS TAPES & DVDS IN UCLA'S POWELL LIBRARY ARCHIVE RESEARCH AND STUDY CENTER

Contact Us

For more information, please email us at archives@sundance.org.

Explore Our History and Supported Artists

Ever wonder when the Shorts Program and World Cinema sections were introduced at the Festival, if Heathers and sex, lies, and videotape premiered the same year, how many Festival staffers there were in 1992, or what Sundance film was the first Western movie to be shown on North Korean television? Brush up on your Festival trivia and check out our Sundance Film Festival history page.

Explore Festival History

As technology has evolved, the mediums through which stories are told have expanded. New Frontier identifies and celebrates creators who explore the opportunities within the newest technologies to push the edges of story conception and craft, and to invite the audience to experience stories as never before.

Experience New Frontier 10 years

Access The Archives

We thrive on sharing our history and the stories of our artists.

  • To request photos, videos, or information, please complete our request form.

    • "From the Collection" Screenings

      Whether it's through our Festivals, labs, or grants, we're always excited about the work supported by the Institute and want it to be seen for years to come. We celebrate the history of independent film through our From the Collection screenings at the Sundance Film Festival, which showcase favorites from past Festivals, and we aspire to share this history and bring attention to independent stories both old and new to audiences around the world.
    • Loan Program and Restoration Projects

      Many titles held in the Sundance Collection at UCLA have prints and DCPs available for loan. As we identify titles in need and as resources permit, we work closely with our UCLA colleagues to bring new life to films through restoration. Several restoration projects over the years have included Paris Is Burning, Desert Hearts, Hoop Dreams, and River of Grass. Many of these restoration projects then become available for loan and often find renewed interest in distribution. Some of the many titles available for loan are below.
      Poster for The Living End
      The Living End
      Poster for Mi Vida Loca
      Mi Vida Loca
      Poster for Four Sheets to the Wind
      Four Sheets to the Wind
      Poster for But I'm a Cheerleader
      But I'm a Cheerleader
      Poster for The Brother from Another Planet
      The Brother from Another Planet
      Poster for Down to the Bone
      Down to the Bone
      Poster for Love and Basketball
      Love and Basketball
      Poster for Smoke Signals
      Smoke Signals
      Poster for Paris is Burning
      Paris is Burning
      Poster for Me and You and Everyone We Know
      Me and You and Everyone We Know
      Poster for Living in Oblivion
      Living in Oblivion
      Poster for Wet Hot American Summer
      Wet Hot American Summer
      Poster for Requiem for a Dream
      Requiem for a Dream
      Poster for Hoop Dreams
      Hoop Dreams
      Poster for House Party
      House Party

Preserve Your Work

The work you create is vital to both the history of independent storytelling and the heritage of Sundance Institute, and we strive to protect and preserve your stories. In addition to providing a safe and secure home for your film, we offer tips and guidelines to help ensure your work is not lost, no matter the medium or platform you use.

Please help us protect your stories by taking advantage of our services and contacting our knowledgeable staff. Digital preservation is ever-evolving, so always feel free to ask questions and share your findings with us at archives@sundance.org.

  • Preserve Your Place in the History of Independent Storytelling

    Independent films often fall victim to loss or damage because of changing ownership, poor storage, closing labs, or neglect. As a result, quality prints can become difficult or impossible to find, even for films made as recently as a few years ago.

    If your film screened at the Sundance Film Festival or was supported by any of the Institute's artist development programs, you can preserve it in the Sundance Collection at UCLA, which will protect your film from damage and loss and ensure that it’ll stand the test of time.

    What You Can Do Today

    Establish the whereabouts and condition of your negative and other irreplaceable elements.

    Deposit your film. Preserve your final conformed film elements, along with prints and access copies, free of charge at the Sundance Collection at UCLA, where they’ll be properly maintained and safeguarded in UCLA’s state-of-the-art archive.

    Donate a copy. Help us build the most comprehensive access library for the study of independent cinema by donating a Blu-ray, DVD, or .mov to the Sundance Collection at UCLA for use in UCLA's Powell Library Archive Research and Study Center.

    To get started, email us at archives@sundance.org.

    Depositing Your Film FAQ

    • Do I still own the rights? Yes, if you deposit negatives or other pre-print materials, you retain all rights and can access your assets.
    • What if I have a distributor? We work with many distribution companies to ensure that their titles are safeguarded. We encourage you to start the conversation with your distributor to make sure your film is protected.
    • Where do the elements go? They are housed and maintained at the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s state-of-the-art vaults.
    • Will the print be used? On rare occasions, prints may be approved for educational and public screenings by institutions that have provided positive FIAF (International Federation of Film Archives) references.
    • If my film is in the collection, will it be restored? Resources are limited and we identify titles for restoration on a case-by-case basis.
    • Can anyone borrow the film’s video or access copy?No, access copies are only available for on-site viewing at UCLA’s Powell Library.
    • Can you cover the cost of shipping my elements? We usually can; please contact us today.
    • Digital Preservation Guidelines

      Follow these simple but crucial tips for keeping your work safe!

      Copies, copies, copies

      Save a minimum of two copies of your content, with a third as your working files.
      Store copies of your work separately

      Keep 'em separated

      Whether you choose a cloud- or drive-based storage solution, ensure your copies are stored on geographically separate servers.
      Store them securely in a service you trust

      Be open-minded

      Consider open-source tools. Dependence on third-party developers may jeopardize long-term access to critical software. Self-sustainability is key.

      Put a label on it

      Pick a naming convention, and label all media, files, and projects accurately and consistently.

      Document everything

      Generate robust metadata as well as detailed, human-readable documentation of your work.
      Perform regular checks for hardware and digital integrity

      Double-check

      Guard against digital degradation by performing fixity checks on your files and analyzing your hardware’s integrity.
      Exercise these processes to ensure your work is available for years to come

      Join the conversation

      There’s still a lot we don’t know about preserving our digital heritage. Ask questions and share your findings: archives@sundance.org.
      Ask questions and share tips with us
    • Preservation Tools & Resources

      Start protecting your video and web related work with these resources and tools.

Support Us

Help us protect the history of storytelling, champion independent voices, and inspire the stories of tomorrow. Support the Archives & Collection by becoming a member of Sundance Circle.

Learn More